WASHINGTON, May 8, 2012 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA*) grant of US$15 million which will provide additional financing to the Republic of Burundi for the ongoing implementation of its Public Works and Urban Management Project. This additional grant is intended to help Burundi build on the progress achieved during the initial phase of this project which aims to increase access to basic socioeconomic services and short-term employment opportunities in target areas.
This new project is a logical continuation from the closed Public Works and Employment Creation Project, especially with regard to the implementation of demand-driven subprojects through labor-intensive approaches for job creation. In addition, the project focused on selected cities (Bujumbura, Gitega, and Ngozi) to address the need for gradual institutional development in municipal management and to prepare for effective decentralization.
Accordingly to Deo-Marcel Niyungeko, World Bank Task Team Leader of the project, “The additional grant will allow the Public Works and Urban Management Project to: (i) implement additional works that will scale up the project’s impact; and (ii) continue supporting institutional reforms and municipal management practices and policies that affect the sustainability of the investments”.
From an initial review of the sub-project requests received, this is likely to support the following: (i) cobblestone paved roads (around 32 kilometers); (ii) nine markets; (iii) two secondary schools, (iv) one health and social center and (v) four sub-projects of basic earth roads including drainage system for low income urban areas. With the recent inauguration of the completed 27 sub-projects, the project's visibility is high.
“The success of the previous project and the current IDA-funded PWUMP has attracted a lot of interest from many constituencies. The demand for funding far exceeds the available resources under the original grant. That is why this additional funding will go a long way to respond to the high demand and it will continue to support critical capacity building programs for local resource mobilization and urban management", said Mercy M.Tembon, World Bank Country Manager for Burundi.
The additional grant will be used not only to scale up the IDA-financed projects but its impact will also enhance development effectiveness in Burundi.
“The proposed Additional Financing will support the seventh pillar of Burundi’s Vision 2025, focusing on the implementation of urbanization incentives. It will also improve access to social services and consolidate social stability by reducing the infrastructure gap, and maximizing reintegration and employment opportunities for the most disadvantaged segments of the population”, said Philippe Dongier, World Bank Country Director for Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania.
Indeed, these goals further coincide with those of the 2012 Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) which aims at increasing growth and employment opportunities through investments in agricultural transformation, infrastructure, private sector development, and tourism and construction.