WASHINGTON, June 23, 2010 — The World Bank today approved three projects worth US$327 million: the Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project, second phase of Empowerment and Livelihood Improvement “Nuton Jibon” Project, and the additional financing for the Municipal Services Project. These projects are aimed at empowering the poor, improving service delivery and enhancing development outcomes in Bangladesh. With the approval of these projects, the World Bank’s total concessionary lending to Bangladesh reaches to US$830 million in FY 10.
“Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty. Still the country faces challenges such as ensuring adequate access to basic services and infrastructure, including water and sanitation facilities for the poor.” said Zahid Hussain, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh. “These 3 projects will help to increase opportunities through improving access to services, facilities and livelihood in an inclusive and effective manner, with an emphasis on targeting the poorest and most vulnerable.”
The US$170 million Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project (CWSIP) will support the improvement of water supply and sanitation services in Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh. The project will help the Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (CWASA) to improve its services through construction of selected water production, transmission, and storage and distribution facilities. At present CWASA is able to meet only 35% of the estimated demand for water. CWSIP will expand piped water supply services to slum areas and will provide water and sanitation services to about 250,000 poor slum dwellers.
“Approximately 1.4 million people live in slums where piped distribution networks are largely nonexistent” said Fook Chuan Eng, Project Task Team Leader, CWSIP “This project aims to improve and expand these services to all people living in Chittagong, especially poor people.”
The US$115 million Notun Jibon (earlier known as Social Investment Program Project) will improve the quality of life and livelihoods of the vulnerable and poor households in villages. The project further aims to help building resilience towards climate change and natural disasters. Focusing on a demand driven and community based development approach ‘Notun Jibon’ helps the rural poor form their own institutions and provides direct financing for village development. It has already benefitted 3 million people in about 1,500 villages in the poorest and most disaster-prone districts. The second phase will cover additional 1500 villages and will benefit over 3 million more vulnerable people.
“The program will support holistic village development and will help the poor to cope, become more resilient and better prepared for climate changes and natural disasters” said Meena Munshi, Project Task Team Leader, Notun Jibon
The US$42 million additional financing for Municipal Services Project will help to improve urban infrastructure and concurrently improve municipal financing and management capacity. The project has so far financed the construction and rehabilitation of urban infrastructure in about 130 municipalities, and repaired and rehabilitated flood-damaged infrastructure in 195 towns.
“The urban population in Bangladesh has doubled since 1990,” said Songsu Choi, Project Task Team Leader, Municipal services. “This additional funding will help finance urban infrastructure improvements to some 170 towns, and strengthen municipal capacity to foster future growth.”
The credits from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm, have 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period; they carry a service charge of 0.75 percent.