Lithuania has joined the Energy Sector Management Assistance program-ESMAP as a donor. Created in 1983, ESMAP is a global multi-donor partnership funded by 13 governments and administered by the World Bank. ESMAP assists low and middle income countries to achieve environmentally sustainable energy solutions for poverty reduction and economic growth.
“The government of Lithuania strongly believes in the centrality of energy in furthering economic growth in developing countries. Energy security issues are very important to us,” said Lithuania’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Evaldas Ignatavicius. “In 2011, the Lithuanian Government established an Energy Security Center under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a perspective to become a NATO Center of Excellence. We support environmentally sustainable energy sector reforms in the Eastern European and Central Asia (ECA) countries with the aim to promote energy efficiency and energy security for all,” he said.
In light of recent developments in the world’s energy and financial markets, ensuring energy security is on top of the policy agenda for most countries in the ECA region, including Lithuania. Lithuania’s decision to support ESMAP is a recognition of ESMAP’s efforts to assist client countries in strengthening capacities and designing policies to enhance energy security in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“We welcome the move by the government of Lithuania in supporting our program,” said ESMAP’s Program Manager, Rohit Khanna. “Over the past few years, ESMAP has worked with governments of the ECA region to increase the security of energy supply, improve the performance of their energy sectors and enhance energy efficiency of their economies. We helped assess the vulnerability of the national power sectors amid the recent global financial crisis. This led to the development of several power projects to be funded by the World Bank and other financiers. ESMAP is also helping ECA countries to deepen regional power sector integration,” he said.
The government of Lithuania will participate in the March 2011 ESMAP Annual Donor Consultative Group Meeting in Washington, DC, to review and discuss ESMAP’s ongoing programs and future plans. Lithuania is now part of the Consultative Group, the governing body of ESMAP composed of representatives of Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank.