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World Bank Boosts Support for Poverty Reduction and Power Access in Djibouti

July 27, 2010

Washington DC, July 27, 2010 – Efforts by the Government of Djibouti to accelerate poverty reduction in the poorest areas of its capital and to expand access to electricity for poor people received further support from the World Bank today with additional grant financing of $8.9 million.

The Republic of Djibouti and the World Bank signed additional financing agreements for the Power Access and Diversification Project (US$6.00 million) and Djibouti’s Urban Poverty Reduction Project (US$ 2.9 million). Ambassador Robleh Olhaye Oudine, representing the Government of Djibouti, and Shamshad Akhtar, the World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region, officiated.

Additional financing for the Power Access and Diversification Project, first approved in November 2005, will supplement the original support by $6 million bringing the total credit and grant mix from the International Development Association, IDA, the Bank’s concessional lending window, to $13.30 million.

The additional grant will help Djibouti deepen its efforts to expand access to electricity for low-income citizens,” said Akhtar. “It should also help improve the efficiency of the power utility by supporting investments in metering and distribution line rehabilitation. Today’s signing reinforces years of active cooperation and dialogue with Djibouti’s authorities as they seek to develop new sources of electricity supply including geothermal energy.”

The Urban Poverty Reduction Project is designed to address poverty in Quartier 7, the largest and one of the poorest neighborhoods of the capital city. Along with projects financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the French Development Agency (AFD), this IDA-financed urban sector operation is one of the key constituents of the country’s urban poverty reduction program. The additional grant financing of $2.9 million will support the Djibouti Social Development Agency (ADDS) in expanding its activities to scale up the project’s impact and relevance for poor citizens of Quartier 7.

Works to be financed will improve the quality of life for five thousand households in Quartier 7 with rehabilitated roads, literacy and vocational training for young people and women, improved sanitation and solid waste collection. Social infrastructure funded by the project includes a community development center, a health center and three recreational spaces in the area.

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