Lithuania joined the World Bank in 1992 (see Membership page). Since then, the Bank has played an important role in Lithuaniaâ€™s transition through lending, policy dialogue, and analytical and advisory assistance. In addition to Bank-supported investment projects, the Bank supported lines of credit through commercial banks to assist enterprises and provided support for the international effort to reduce pollution in the Baltic Sea, with two projects dealing with major sources of water pollution. Based on analytical work, structural reforms were supported through two operations in 1997 and 2000.
Following its graduation from the Bank in 2006, Lithuania continued to benefit from a number of cross-country analytical and advisory activities, including a programmatic study of public finance reform issues in the new EU member states, a social inclusion report, Regular Economic Reports, and seminars on public private partnerships. Lithuania became a donor to the International Development Association (IDA) -- the concessional lending arm of the World Bank Group -- during the 15th replenishment in 2007.
In August 2009, in response to the economic crisis, the Bank prepared a rapid-response public expenditure review of the social sectors to support the Government of Lithuania's efforts to protect the most vulnerable citizens through the social safety net. The report recommends fiscal consolidation and reforms that would generate immediate fiscal savings while making social sector spending more efficient and equitable. The report also identifies changes in social assistance benefits that would better protect the poor and vulnerable during the crisis and beyond.