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PRESS RELEASE

Government of India and World Bank Sign $24 Million Additional Financing to Restore Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Services in Disaster Affected Areas of Uttarakhand

May 30, 2014

NEW DELHI, May 30, 2014 – The government of India, the government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank today signed an agreement for a $24 million additional credit to help restore Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) schemes that were damaged following the severe floods and landslides that took place in Uttarakhand in June 2013.

The additional financing, which was approved by the World Bank Board on March 4, 2014, will support the on-going Uttarakhand Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project to reconstruct and restore RWSS schemes that were partially damaged.

The closing date for the ongoing project will now be extended by 18 months from June 16, 2014 to December 31, 2015.

The credit agreement for the Additional Financing of the Uttarakhand Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) Project was signed by Nilaya Mitash, joint secretary, department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, on behalf of the government of India; Sowjanya, project director, Uttarakhand Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, on behalf of the government of Uttarakhand; and Michael Haney, World Bank’s operations advisor in India on behalf of the World Bank.

“In keeping with the government of India’s commitment to mitigating disaster risks both at the national and state level, this project will further support the ongoing post disaster recovery work currently underway in Uttarakhand,” said Nilaya Mitash, joint secretary, department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, government of India.

The additional financing will finance the reconstruction and restoration of an estimated 2,622 damaged Single Village Schemes and 579 Multi Village Schemes; 3,338 Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs), 3,328 soak pits and 41,770 meters of drains.

This will help restore RWSS services for over a million rural people. As of December 31, 2013, the ongoing project has benefitted nearly 1.22 million people in about 7,000 rural habitations in 13 districts.

“This additional financing will help restore services of damaged schemes in the disaster affected areas of Uttarakhand. The emphasis will be on building back smarter by creating disaster resilient infrastructure. We hope our partnership with the government will help improve the overall disaster management work in the state and prevent the loss of life and livelihood in the future,” said Michael Haney, World Bank’s operations advisor in India.

From 15 to 17 June 2013, Uttarakhand, endowed with vast natural resources and one of the most frequented tourist and pilgrimage destinations in India, suffered unprecedented rainfall devastating the towns of Kedarnath, Rambara, Gaurikund and others.

A Joint Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (JRDNA) conducted by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) at the request of the Government of India and in close collaboration with the Government of Uttarakhand, estimated the physical damage across a range of sectors and calculated the total cost of reconstruction at $661 million.

“The ongoing project in Uttarakhand is working towards a decentralized approach to delivering rural water supply and sanitation services to its people with an increased role for Panchayati Raj Institutions and local communities. Given the recent disaster in Uttarakhand, apart from restoring damaged schemes, this additional financing will also focus on enhancing the institutional capacity of the Panchayati Raj Institutions to prepare for and manage the impact of natural disasters better,” said Smita Misra, lead water and sanitation specialist and the World Bank’s task team leader for the project.

The additional financing for the project will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm – which provides interest-free loans with 25 years to maturity and a grace period of five years.

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SAR 2014