World Bank to Help Improve Environmental Services in China

September 25, 2014

WASHIGNTON, D.C., September 25, 2014 – Today the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved three loans totaling $500 million to the People’s Republic of China to help improve people’s health, welfare and living conditions in three provinces through enhanced environmental services in urban and rural areas

The Qinghai Xining Water Environment Project, financed with an IBRD loan of US$150 million, will support the provincial capital’s effort to address the dual challenges of water shortage and deteriorating water environment by reducing water pollution from municipal sources and increasing reuse of wastewater in the Huangshui River basin. The funding will be used to construct storm-water and wastewater collection pipes, restore and improve the environment along the bank of Beichuan River and selected gullies and canals, pilot the reuse of treated wastewater, and strengthen the municipality’s capacity in integrated water environment management, directly benefiting some 319,000 residents in the suburban areas of Xining. The project complements the ongoing World Bank-financed Xining Flood and Watershed Management Project, which is improving the protection of property and safety of people from floods and bringing about sustainable utilization of land and water resources in Xining

The Shaanxi Small Towns Infrastructure Project, financed with an IBRD loan of US$150 million, will help this western province cope with rapid urbanization by improving public services and utilities in nine counties and districts to enhance their ability to accommodate rural-urban migration. The project will finance new construction and rehabilitation of urban infrastructure such as urban roads, water supply, wastewater collection and storm drainage, expanding coverage of urban services, and strengthening town management capacity through introduction of asset management practices, policy studies, and advisory services. About 705,580 residents in the project towns will benefit from the project.

The Zhejiang Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, financed with an IBRD loan of US$200 million, will address the urban-rural gap in water and sanitation services through construction or rehabilitation of raw water mains, water distribution networks and water treatment plants; increasing the number of sewerage household connections; rehabilitation of septic tanks; construction of sewerage collection networks and end-of-pipe treatment facilities; and establishing sustainable management systems. The project will be implemented in four counties or county-level cities and pilot solutions that could be scaled up and replicated in Zhejiang and other provinces in eastern China.

“These projects support the key objectives of Chinese government: they help reduce the gap in services between urban and rural areas and between western and eastern provinces. This also aligns well with the World Bank’s new goal of shared prosperity,” said Bert Hofman, new World Bank Country Director for China, Korea and Mongolia

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