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PRESS RELEASE January 22, 2019

Irrigation in Turkey to Be Modernized with World Bank Financing

WASHINGTON January 22, 2018 —The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $252 million loan and a $2 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the Turkey Irrigation Modernization Project. The Project’s aims to improve irrigation delivery, providing farmers with better access to water - through the rehabilitation and modernization of infrastructure - and strengthening the capacity of Water Users Associations (WUAs) in the country.

“The agriculture sector employs about 21 percent of the population and accounts for 60 percent of the rural workforce in Turkey,” says Mariam Sherman, World Bank Acting Country Director for Turkey. “Increased access to water, through irrigation, boosts the incomes of rural poor people, as irrigation triples productivity compared to rain-fed agriculture, on average.”

The project is being led by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, with Turkey’s State Hydraulic Works (DSI) as the implementing agency for the Project. The project will consist of the following three components:

  • Modernization of Irrigation Systems (IBRD, $249 million): this component will finance investments to rebuild and improve irrigation systems in selected areas covering more than 50,000 hectares in Atabey, Ereğli-İvriz, Alasehir, and Uzunlu.
  • Innovation and Institutional Support (GEF, $2 million): this component will support State Hydraulic Works (DSI) in implementing a National Program for capacity building in WUAs ($1.29 million) and the introduction of a Groundwater Stewardship Pilot in Afyon ($0.71 million).
  • Project Management (IBRD, $3 million): this component will finance the multiple activities required for coordinating and managing the project, including: measures to enhance dam safety in the project areas, community consultations and partnership program, communications, grievance redress mechanisms, monitoring and evaluation, and environmental and social management.

The project is aligned with Turkey’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for FY18-FY21, which focuses on the three strategic objectives of growth, inclusion, and sustainability. The design of the CPF is based on the findings of the Systematic Country Diagnostic, which was finalized in 2016 and highlighted water availability and the sustainable use of this water as a key challenge for future development in the country.

The project is funded through an IBRD Investment Project Financing (IPF) instrument, with a 10.5 year repayment period, including a 5-year grace period.


For more information on the World Bank’s work in Turkey, please visit:






Tunya Celasin
Kym Smithies
+1 (202) 458-0152