WASHINGTON, January 5, 2006 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of US$30 million which will provide additional financing to the Republic of Burundi for the ongoing implementation of its Public Works and Employment Creation Project.
This supplemental grant is intended to help Burundi build on the progress achieved during the initial phase of this project whose objectives are to (i) generate jobs through labor-intensive public works, (ii) carry out cost-effective, economically and socially useful public works projects using small and medium enterprises, and (iii) enhance the institutional capacities of municipalities to identify, prioritize, operate and maintain sub-projects.
The additional funding for the Public Works and Employment Creation project will help implement 61 unfunded sub-projects that have already been identified and evaluated based on their socio-economic viability and their beneficial environmental impact. These include 11 new markets, 19 primary schools, 4 health centers, 62 km of stone paved roads, a 5-hectare new residential site development, a 180 km gravity-fed water scheme and 6 river flood protection facilities.
“The new activities will result in improved access to municipal infrastructure for more than 2 million inhabitants across the country. They will generate an estimated 2 million person-days of unskilled jobs and inject approximately US$5 million in wages,” said Deo-Marcel Niyungeko, the World Bank Task Team Leader of the project.
These activities will provide a steady flow of business that will strengthen the emergent local construction and consulting industries. They will also help increase efficiency in the execution of public works, strengthen the capacity of the Burundian private sector to manage contracts and build the capacity of municipalities and participating NGOs in planning, monitoring and financial accounting.
The original Public Works and Employment Creation project was approved in January 2001. It became effective in June of the same year. As of November 2005, more than 91 percent of the credit made available to the project had been disbursed. The project is countrywide and focuses on medium-scale infrastructure and services in urban areas. It has generated an average annual turnover of US$10 million for the Burundian consulting and construction industries, and has provided a much needed boost to a struggling local private sector.