WASHINGTON/BEIJING, February 25, 2010 – Yesterday the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of $50 million to the People’s Republic of China to improve rural wastewater management and township infrastructure in Ningbo Municipality.
Ningbo Municipality is a major city in the southeastern coastal zone of China, about 300 km south of Shanghai, and has a population of 5.65 million. Despite rapid economic growth since the late 1970s, Ningbo is facing increasing urban-rural disparities including per capita income of rural residents much below than that of urban residents, fewer economic opportunities, inadequate basic infrastructure, shortage and low quality of drinking water supply, and insufficient sanitation services in the rural areas. The Ningbo Municipal Government is working to implement the New Countryside Development (NCD) Program, a national strategy aimed at reducing the urban-rural disparity, balancing urban and rural development, and promoting human-centered, quality-based, resource-saving and eco-friendly growth in the countryside.
In support of the municipality’s efforts, the Ningbo New Countryside Development Project will focus on improving rural waste water management in about 150 selected villages in Ningbo Municipality and enhancing infrastructure development in Chunhu Town of Fenghua City by financing construction of an access road, water supply networks, and wastewater collection and treatment facilities. In the meantime, the Bank will provide technical assistance to build local capacities.
“The new project will allow the Bank to continue our long-term partnership with Ningbo Municipality and work on the new initiatives in urban-rural integration to reduce disparities in growth and living standards,” said project leader Ms.Wang Shenhua, a senior infrastructure specialist for the World Bank. “Through this project, the Bank will draw on its extensive global experience to demonstrate ways to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability for rural sanitation, basic urban infrastructure and small town management. Successful experience of the project could be replicated in the NCD program in Ningbo Municipality and other developed areas in China with similar economic characteristics.”
The total project cost is $107 million with the World Bank contributing about 47 percent.
The World Bank has a close working relationship with Ningbo Municipality. In recent years the Bank financed a number of projects in Ningbo, including the Ningbo Water and Environment Project, Zhejiang Urban Environment Project, and the Global Environment Facility-supported Ningbo Water and Environment Project.