WASHINGTON, May 15, 2018--The World Bank approved today an International Development Association (IDA)* financing of $220 million to support the government of Benin in its efforts to provide universal access to water for rural communities.
The new AQUA-VIE, Rural Water Supply Universal Access Program-for-Results (PforR) will help increase access to water supply services through the construction of 270 new piped rural water supply systems, and the rehabilitation and expansion of about 360 existing systems. About 1.6 million people living in rural areas will benefit from the Program through the construction of 34,500 new household connections and 3,300 new standpipes. Moreover, water service delivery arrangements will be strengthened through the establishment of performance-based contracts with regional operators and through capacity building activities for water supply professionals and the beneficiary municipalities.
“It is important to ensure the delivery of quality and sustainable water services for the poor, and we are happy to help the government implement the key priorities set in its National Strategy for Rural Water Supply 2017-2030. We expect that the new Program will have multiple impacts for the poor, mainly on improving living conditions, health, school attendance, productivity and income, especially for women and girls,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Benin.
Access to potable water is a key issue in Benin’s rural areas. According to a WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program, only 30 percent of the rural population has access to piped water, compared to 57 percent for the urban population.
AQUA-VIE is fully aligned with the Government Action Plan (PAG) adopted in December 2016, and with the Country Partnership Framework 2018-2023 which is being finalized. This is the first PforR operation in Benin, and it provides a framework for mobilizing additional public and private financing to meet the needs of Benin’s rural communities.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans 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 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.