40 years ago, Singapore was confronted with severe unemployment, poor infrastructure, and a housing shortage. Today, the city-state has taken its place among the newly industrializing countries in Asia.
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WASHINGTON, September 30, 2014 – Today, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of $100 million to the People’s Republic of China to support rural development and poverty reduction... Show More + in Guizhou in the southwest part of the country“The Guizhou Rural Development Project will support the poverty reduction strategy of the Guizhou Provincial Leading Group for Poverty Reduction and Development, which promotes investments in commercial agriculture in priority destitute mountain areas. The project will support the development of agriculture through farmer cooperative institutional development, pro-poor value chains and marketing interventions, private enterprise participation and investments, and modern agricultural extension services delivery,” said Ulrich Schmitt, the World Bank’s task team leader for this project“Building on our experience in working with the Guizhou Provincial Leading Group for Poverty Reduction and Development on innovative poverty reduction programs over more than two decades, we expect this project to serve as a new demonstration for agricultural sector modernization. The project will support organizational arrangements in rural areas, better public services, and more outreach to poor and ethnic minority people in China’s disadvantaged rural areas,” he addedGuizhou is one of China’s poorest provinces. Out of a total population of 40 million people, 11.5 million live below China’s official rural poverty line of RMB2,300 yuan a year (about US$375 a year). About 40 percent of the province’s population belongs to various ethnic minorities, which are overrepresented among the poorPoverty is primarily a rural phenomenon and agriculture remains a key entry point for poverty reduction, employment creation and rural development. However, agricultural production is currently characterized by often scattered and uncoordinated production of many small-scale household farms. These households, in general, have limited access to capital for investments, lack adequate institutional arrangements to achieve the horizontal integration of production, do not have timely market and price information, and lack access to better production technology and management skills, which often results in sub-standard product quality and prevents producers to exploit opportunities for value addition and benefit from growing urban markets. Furthermore, these structural weaknesses, in particular the lack of a critical mass of production, do not provide incentives for private businesses to invest in up-stream processing and marketing.The new project will provide support to professional farmer cooperatives, including the provision of office infrastructure and establishment cost for farmer cooperatives, the creation of a decentralized Farmer Cooperative Development Fund to finance cooperative level investments in improved production, value addition, and marketing, and the provision of financing to cooperating agro-enterprises for investments in processing, post-harvest handling, storage, quality control, packaging of agricultural products, market exploration and development, food safety monitoring, certification and brand naming, and risk prevention and mitigation through a pilot agricultural crop insurance scheme. The project will also fund the construction of agricultural production roads, irrigation and drainage works, communication and information infrastructure, and public market facilities to complement the Farmer Cooperative Development Fund, and public services in support of farmer cooperatives. Farmers and agricultural technicians will receive technical assistance and training, and policy studies will be carried out on topics ranging from poverty reduction, agriculture development and rural sectors in poor areas, to how to improve the investment environment, governance and fair benefit sharing for cooperatives and enterprisesThe project will be implemented in 11 counties, prioritized for poverty reduction, benefiting some 444,000 people of whom 172,000 are registered as poor and 281,000 belong to ethnic minorities. The project is part of a series of World Bank-financed projects to scale-up innovative features in China’s poverty reduction program. The first three projects, implemented during 1995-2006, demonstrated multi-sector approaches to rural poverty reduction in various areas of extreme rural poverty. The two subsequent projects, implemented during 2005-2012, promoted more participatory and community-driven approaches to rural development in marginal areas Show Less -
WASHINGTON, September 30, 2014 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved the following project:China - Guizhou Rural Development Project IBRD Loan: US $100.0 million equivale... Show More +ntTerms: Maturity = 29 years, Grace = 6 yearsProject ID: P133261 Project Description: The objective is to demonstrate a model for agricultural sector restructuring and modernization, improved organizational arrangements, and strengthened public service delivery in the Project Counties of Guizhou Province. For more information, please visit here: http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P133261/guizhou-rural-development-poverty-alleviation-project?lang=en Show Less -
Raising green awarenessThe impact of harnessing the sun's energy to help power the schools, however, reaches far beyond financial benefits. Having solar panels on school property sends a strong messag... Show More +e to the children about the importance of moving towards sustainable energy and reducing our carbon footprint, stimulating their enthusiasm and making them champions for renewable energy and energy efficiency, which is seen as the biggest benefit of all.Some schools have opened a course about solar energy. “Its main role is educational,” said Chen Suqin, Principal of Jinsong No.2 Primary School. “We have integrated it in our science course and use it to educate our students about the need to protect our environment and conserve resources.” “Using solar power makes a big impact on the students, changing their behavior and their values. They have been inspired to take action in their daily life to protect the atmosphere – adopting green travel modes, switching off the light when leaving the classroom, and turning off the computer when not in use to save energy，” said Jiang Hua. “Through this working example of solar power in our school, I have gained much knowledge. Replacement of nonrenewable energy with renewable energy can greatly reduce environmental pollution，” said Zhang Xinyi, a student at the Middle School attached to Northern Jiaotong University.Science education activities have also been organized around the subject. At Beijing Jinsong No.2 Primary School, pupils in an after-school science group learned about solar and other renewable energy sources and discussed ways to save energy. “Solar panels can be mounted on the rooftop of buildings to generate electricity. And we can save energy by, for example, fixing a fridge door seal, and soaking rice in water for 10 minutes before cooking,” said Li Yuhan, a member of the science group. Children also passed on such knowledge to their families and friends.The program has served to raise public awareness of renewable energy and inspire actions to help build a sustainable urban future for China. Show Less -
US$$500 million in additional financing to improve local government accountability in infrastructure project implementationWASHINGTON, September 30, 2014 – The World Bank's Board of Executive Director... Show More +s approved US$500 million in additional financing for Indonesia’s Local Government and Decentralization Project, which aims to improve local governments’ accountability in implementing infrastructure projects.“Government accountability has a direct impact on the quality of services that communities receive: the more accountable, the better the services. This project aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of local government spending on vital infrastructure projects, such as roads, irrigation networks, clean water services and sanitation,” said World Bank Country Director for Indonesia, Rodrigo ChavesWhen Indonesia began decentralization a decade ago, responsibility of delivering services shifted from the central to the local government. Some districts and cities have flourished, but others have suffered a decline in the quality of services.The project responds to the government’s request to scale up the project to 30 of Indonesia's 34 provinces. The four exceptions are provinces that have special autonomy status: Aceh, Papua, West Papua, and Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. This additional financing is the second phase of a project that began in 2010“The key to the Project is linking together performance-based incentives, strong monitoring and targeted capacity building to leverage improvements in the delivery of services at the local level. Making decentralization work in a complex country such as Indonesia needs this type of ‘nuts and bolts’ support to improve the quality of public spending,” said Taimur Samad, World Bank Senior Urban SpecialistThe project will be carried out through improved financial and technical reporting, and verifications of services delivered as funded by the annual Special Allocation Funds (DAK) grant, as well as contributions from local governmentThe project also includes capacity building activities for financial management, procurement, investment planning and maintenance, safeguards management, and ensuring accountabilityTransparency and accountability is a key characteristic of the project, which includes third party verification of local government performance through Indonesia’s national internal auditor (BPKP) and a web-based reporting system for eligible expenditures. Show Less -