Program will benefit more than 300,000 residents of the capital of Brazil’s Ceará state
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2017 - More than 300,000 residents of Fortaleza, capital of the Brazilian state of Ceará, will benefit from a US$73.3 million loan approved today by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors for the Fortaleza Sustainable Urban Development Project. This operation will help improve planning and access to basic public services for the poor, reduce the municipality’s vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters, and help address challenges such as lack of quality public spaces, pollution, and limited investment capacity. The investment will focus on improving land use planning and land-based financing, and also promote the urban and environmental restoration of selected areas of the Vertente Marítima Basin and the Rachel de Queiroz Park.
Fortaleza is Brazil’s fifth largest city, with a population of almost 2.6 million people. It has experienced sprawling rapid growth in the past decades, resulting in the encroachment of environmentally protected areas, parks and green spaces.
“This project - and the investments to be made in environmental restoration, infrastructure and rehabilitation of urban areas - will start what can be a long-term transformation process in our city," says Roberto Cláudio, mayor of Fortaleza. “It is about promoting social inclusion and more sustainable growth. It is about making Fortaleza more livable, resilient, competitive and inclusive".
Named after the most prestigious female writer of Ceará, the Raquel de Queiroz Park is the second biggest conservation area of Fortaleza, with 10km, crossing 14 neighborhoods. The park will benefit from new access roads, walking paths, bicycle paths, and basic amenities (including lighting, landscaping, signage, outdoor furnishings and sporting equipment).
In the city’s northwestern coastal area, the project will help improve the efficiency of the sewage network, contributing to reduce discharges and pollution along the coastline. The project is expected to improve the safe bathing index in targeted areas from the current 20 percent to 80 percent during the dry season. Investments will include treating effluents from combined drainage and sewage systems, and subsidizing household sewage connections in low-income areas.
“This project represents a first step in the long term transformation of Fortaleza,” explained Martin Raiser, World Bank director for Brazil. “The activities supported by our financing will not only improve the quality of life of the poorest population but will also help boost economic development by promoting job creation, opportunities for youth, and community building. This is the kind of integrated urban development that we would like to help Brazilian cities achieve.”
This one-tranche loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the Municipality of Fortaleza is guaranteed by the Federative Republic of Brazil and has a final maturity of 24 years, with a 6-year grace period.
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