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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Approves Funds to Boost Water and Sanitation Services to Urban Residents and Improve Natural Resource Management in Ghana

June 6, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2013 - The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$155 million IDA* grant to support the Government of Ghana’s efforts to increase access to sanitation and water supply services and to improve the capacity of government agencies to plan and manage natural resources more sustainably.

The funds will support two of the Government of Ghana’s priorities: manage natural resources in a sustainable manner and bring improved sanitation and water supply to over 3.6 million people living in and around the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA).

The US$5 million IDA grant supports the Natural Resources and Environmental Governance project with Technical Assistance. The project is designed to provide technical assistance to help improve the capacity of government agencies to plan, manage and use natural resources in selected sectors more effectively and sustainably. The project will support the analytical work, policy dialogue, consultations and capacity building to address critical sector challenges identified in the first phase of the NREG Program (2008-2012).

 “The high rate of environmental resource degradation exacts a heavy toll on Ghana, an annual cost of about ten percent of GDP,” said Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director of Sustainable Development, Africa Region. “These funds will help the Government better manage its natural resources, particularly its forests, and bring more jobs and improved livelihood opportunities  to people living in the country’s rural and forest areas.”

The second IDA grant of $US150 million will support the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project, a five year program designed to bring sanitation facilities and water supply to residents in the GAMA with emphasis on low income communities and to strengthen management of environmental sanitation.

The services will be identified by each community through a participatory process, with a goal of selecting options that best suit residents’ needs, especially women, who have the responsibility to get water in most households. The project selection will take into account the specific physical conditions of each community, such as soil characteristics and space availability.

“Ghana’s economic growth has been accompanied by rapid urbanization. But the provision of basic services has not kept up, and it is particularly affecting people living in low-income areas,” said Ventura Bengoechea World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. “I look forward to helping to effective implementation of this project and to bringing improved sanitation and water services benefiting many low-income GAMA residents.”

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/444/AFR