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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Increases Support for Polio Eradication, Extension of Roads, and Power Supply in DR Congo

June 28, 2011



The new financing, which will also fund social protection and public sector capacity building, will help improve the lives of millions of Congolese people

WASHINGTON, JUNE 28, 2011 – In line with the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), the World Bank Group approved today a total of US$413 million IDA grant financing for five projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This will reinforce the World Bank’s portfolio in DRC to specifically address issues related to transportation and energy infrastructure, public sector capacity building, provision of basic health services, and social protection.

The five operations, listed below, are in line with the Bank's country assistance strategy for DRC, the Bank's Africa Strategy, and support the five pillars of the Government's PRSP

  • additional grant to the ongoing Health Sector Rehabilitation Support Project (US$30 million);
  • additional grant for the Regional and Domestic Power Markets Development project (US$283  million);
  • additional grant for the Emergency Social Action (US$6.8 million);
  • additional grant amount for the High-Priority Roads Reopening and Maintenance Project (US$63.3 million);
  • new financing for Establishing Capacity for Core Public Management (US$29.9 million).

The additional grant for the ongoing Health Sector Rehabilitation Support Project will consist of: 1) providing support to the nationwide efforts to increase coverage of polio vaccine through a mass campaign approach; and 2) strengthening the capacity of the National Immunization Program in the project zones. This support includes: (i) improving the distribution and management of vaccines, (ii) improving the cold chain at provincial, health zones, and facility levels, (iii) training /re-training of the staff, (iv) supporting social mobilization/communication, and (v) strengthening the monitoring and surveillance systems. These interventions are needed to control and prevent future poliomyelitis and other vaccine-preventable diseases outbreaks.

The development objective of the additional financing of the Regional and Domestic Power Markets Development Project is to improve operational efficiency in the electricity sector and expand renewable generation, transmission and distribution capacity in order to better serve domestic power demand and to support regional power market integration. The Project benefits from substantive co-financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the SNEL, and the Government of the DRC.

The new additional financing of the Emergency Social Action Project will support an estimated 65 economic and social community-base sub-projects in the Seke Banza territory in the Bas Congo province to adequately address the needs of local communities living in this area.

The overall objective of the Establishing Capacity for Core Public Management Project is to improve the performance of selected central and provincial government structures through four components: (1) strengthening leadership and creating basic results-based management capacity; (2) strengthening Core Functions of Public Administration; (3) supporting local Centers of Excellence; and (4) strengthening the SENAREC and building a quality control system.

The High-Priority Roads Reopening and Maintenance Project (ProRoutes), which is also co-financed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), will increase road access to a total of about 2,176 km (from 1,800 km) or about one quarter of the 9,000 km of high-priority earth roads that are still closed to motorized traffic. In doing so, it will re-establish lasting access between provincial capitals, districts and territories in the Oriental province and the provinces of South-Kivu, Katanga, and Equateur. Alexandre Dossou, World Bank Task Team Leader for the ProRoutes project, indicated that "this project will help the country achieve its physical reunification and contribute to its economic growth and poverty reduction goals."

"We are particularly pleased because this new financing will finance activities that will dramatically improve the lives of millions of the Congolese people," said Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for DRC and the Republic of Congo.

Media Contacts
In Kinshasa
Louise Engulu
Tel : (+243) 98 30 29 14
lengulu@worldbank.org
In Washington
Francois Gouahinga
Tel : (+1) 202 473 0696
fgouahinga@worldbank.org


PRESS RELEASE NO:
2011/582/AFR

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