South Asia: IDA Supports Access to Key Services

Over the last decade, IDA has worked with countries around the world to achieve…


  • Over 519 million students are enrolled in secondary school worldwide, of which 245.5 million -- or 47.5 percent -- are girls. To help improve secondary education completion rates and provide more opportunities for girls in Bangladesh, girls’ enrolment there increased to 4.4 million in 2006 from 1.1 million in 1991. Since 2001, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan education program in India has helped enroll nearly 20 million out-of-school children into elementary school.
  • Over 98 percent of India’s Children now have access to a primary school within 1 kilometer of their home. 5 million children out of school compared to 25 million in 2003. Transition rates from primary to upper primary school rose from 75 percent in 2002 to 84 percent in 2007.
  • In Pakistan, 62 percent net enrollment in primary schools in Punjab in 2007, up from 45 percent in 2001; primary net enrollment of girls during the same period increased from 43 to 59 percent, and girls’ enrollment in rural areas increased from 38 to 55 percent.
  • 90 percent of Sri Lankan students completed their basic education (grades 1-9) in 2009, compared to 80 percent in 2005.



  • Millions of people in rural Afghanistan now have access to primary health care for the first time, as national coverage rates rose from 9 percent of the general population in 2003 to 85 percent in 2008.
  • From 1980 to 2008, infant mortality in South Asia decreased from 133.7 to 57.6 (per 1,000 live births). From 1996 to 2006, it dropped in Nepal by 40% from 79 to 48.
  • 310 million children have been immunized around the world – equivalent to four times the number of children in the United States. In Sri Lanka, 98 percent of children are immunized against measles with one dose of vaccine and against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) after receiving three doses by the age of 12 months. In Nepal, 83 percent of the population had full immunization coverage in 2006, up from 43 percent in 1996.
  • In Sri Lanka, since 2004 the IDA-financed Health Sector Development Project has contributed to increasing the screening of women over 35 years for non communicable diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, breast cancer and cervical cancer from 1011 to 2367 per 100000, or in other words it has more than doubled. The proportion of pregnant women screened has increased from 14.3 percent to 73 percent. Post partum care increased from 67 percent to 75 percent.



  • Over 118,000 km of roads – enough to circle the globe nearly three times - constructed or rehabilitated and over 134,000 km of roads maintained worldwide.
  • Afghanistan has rehabilitated about 3,000 kilometers of rural roads with IDA support. The program has generated 5.4 million days of short-term employment for impoverished rural men
  • The IDA supported rural road project has increased average household incomes by 50 to 100% in India. Farmers received better prices for their products with ease of access to markets and were able to reduce spoilage of perishable produce.


Agriculture and Rural Development

  • Over 12 million households in 90,000 villages in India have benefited from rural livelihood programs.
  • 4,600 irrigation subprojects irrigated an estimated 186,000 acres of farmland, and around 40,000 acres of formerly barren land is now being used for productive farming purposes in Pakistan. In Sri Lanka, 55,000 farm households benefitted from the recultivation of 35,000 hectares of irrigated land and the rehabilitation of seven major irrigation schemes between 2004 and 2009.
  • Over one million rural Nepalese in 25 districts have benefited from income-generating activities and community infrastructure projects. Their incomes have increased by some 15 percent.
  • More than 15,600 households now have road access for the first time, and water supply, bridges, and sanitation have been provided for more than 32,000 households. More than 200,000 households in 1,034 villages in the poorest districts of Sri Lanka benefited from community infrastructure and productive investments.


Water Supply and Sanitation

  • The IDA-financed Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Nepal has reached more than 1.2 million people in 74 of Nepal’s 75 districts with improved water supply. Access to clean water for Nepal’s rural population has increased from 77 to 89 percent. Clean water and better hygiene have helped reduced the amount of children who die from diarrheal by more than 10 percent.



  • The IDA-funded rural electrification program, since 2003, has connected 600,000 consumers to the electricity grid, constructed about 8,500 km of new distribution lines, and provided 320,000 consumers with Solar Home Systems in Bangladesh. The program also helped install about 10 million energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps in densely populated areas in the country. The initiative also provides financing for renewable energy projects such as biomass and biogas power plants, solar water pump for irrigation, and solar mini grids.
  • In Sri Lanka, since 2004, over 100,000 households have benefitted from the off-grid electrification program, 4,703 households now have electricity provided to by village hydro and biomass projects, and 826 additional rural small-scale and medium-scale enterprises in rural areas have been provided electricity.


IDA Works with Countries to Strengthen Accountability and Institutions

Over the last five years IDA has supported …


  • Increased the transparency and efficiency of government procurement globally in 41 countries, including support to Bhutan, which is establishing the benchmarks, standards, and competencies required for a potential corps of procurement professionals and establishing a qualifications and training regime to support their future development.

Public Financial Management

  • Globally, increased the effectiveness and efficiency of management of public finance in 24 countries. In Afghanistan, IDA financed the government’s measures for financial management has increased domestic revenues from 38 percent in 2002-03 to 67 percent in 2006-07 of the government’s operating expenditures.


Community Driven Development

  • Over 25,000 villages, communities, and neighborhoods around the world managed their own development programs through over 31,000 sub-projects. With IDA supported community development programs over 200,000 households (almost 2 million people) in about 1,000 villages in the poorest and most disaster-prone districts of Bangladesh have benefited from community infrastructure and productive investments (drinking water; access roads and bridges; and means to credit, markets, and income generation).

October 5, 2010