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PRESS RELEASE February 8, 2019

Republic of Congo Expands Access to Social Protection Services for Refugees and Host Communities in the Likouala Region

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2019 – The World Bank Board approved today an IDA* additional grant in the amount of $9.16 million from the Refugee Sub-window and a second additional credit of $12.84 million - for the Lisungi Safety Nets System Project. The closing date of the parent Project will be extended by 36 months, from December 2019 to December 2022.

The additional funds will help the Government of the Republic of Congo foster socioeconomic inclusion for refugees and host communities primarily in Likouala region, in the North of the country, as well as in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. The project will expand the Social Registry of Lisungi to the region of Likouala, and finance direct conditional cash transfers and income-generating activities for poor and vulnerable households in refugees and host communities.

“It is crucial to address basic human needs in a region where the level of poverty and vulnerability is particularly high, including due to the protracted and considerable refugee presence,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Republic of Congo.

Currently, the Lisungi project is implemented in selected regions, reaching about 10,000 households with cash transfers, including indigenous people in the Pool region. The Social Registry contains information on more than 60,000 households facilitating access to health and education services. With the expansion, the project will cover additional: (a) 2,000 refugee households and 2,000 households living in host communities with direct cash transfer conditional on utilization of health and education services by children under 14 years old; (b) 4,000 refugee households and 4,000 households living in host communities with income generating activities to increase their productivity. The project will invest in health and education services in Likouala to provide quality services to the population living in the region.

“As a human development project, Lisungi will help improve both access to health and education services and productivity for the benefit of refugees and host communities,” added Phillippe Leite, Task Team Leader of the Project.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.



Franck Bitemo
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