WASHINGTON, March 7, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved funds to help the Republic of Togo boost access to health, education, and water services and provide school feeding in the country’s poorest areas. The project’s activities will be implemented through 2016 and are expected to benefit 125,250 people during this period, of which half are women and girls.
The US$12.1 million IDA credit provides additional financing to scale up the successful activities of the Community Development and Safety Nets Project (PDCplus). The PDCplus aims to improve access to basic services such as health, education, and water for the country’s most vulnerable households by supporting new community infrastructure, while at the same time helping to strengthening the country’s social safety nets system. Togo’s Government will provide $US 2.1 million in parallel with the additional financing to further expand PDCplus activities.
The additional financing is expected to support new or rehabilitated community infrastructure in at least 150 additional communities. “With a population of 6.2 million, Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world, where many families live without easy access to water, health services or education,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Togo. “The expansion of the successful PDCplus project will help additional communities to make their voices heard on the type of infrastructure most needed in their community, to participate in the realization of the infrastructure project, and to benefit from the increased access to services.”
The additional financing for the PDCplus will also ensure funding for the continuation of a successful school-feeding program which will aim to benefit at least 35,000 students in schools in the poorest areas of the country for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years. A 2011 evaluation found that the cost of the school feeding program under the previous Community Development Project (PDC) was low compared to other sub-Saharan African countries and that it was effective in attracting and retaining beneficiary children in school, in providing access to school to children who are older and have not yet enrolled, and in increasingly attracting girls.
Launched in 2012, the parent PDCplus project is already supporting construction or rehabilitation of around 100 community infrastructure assets, as well as 97 income-generating activity projects, 52 labor-intensive works projects, and a pilot cash transfer program.
“The activities supported by the Community Development and Safety Nets Project have already benefitted thousands of poor and vulnerable families,” said John Van Dyck, World Bank Task Team Leader. “The project’s focus on safety nets and community infrastructure building address the World Bank’s twin goals of poverty reduction and shared prosperity, and will go a long way towards improving the lives of Togo’s poor,” said Thomas Bossuroy, World Bank Co-Task Team Leader.
* 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 81 poorest countries, 39 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.