WASHINGTON, May 20, 2020 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an additional financing totaling $445 million for the DRC Eastern Recovery Project (STEP 2). This financing, provided by the International Development Association* (IDA), will improve access to livelihoods and socioeconomic infrastructure in vulnerable communities.
“This new financing will help expand the number of provinces in which the most vulnerable communities, including refugees, will benefit from social safety nets in the form of temporary jobs and cash transfers,” affirms Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Burundi.
The initial project helped rehabilitate more than 850 community infrastructure facilities. It also created more than 1.3 million person-days of temporary employment for vulnerable people, equipped 45,000 households with improved pastoral technologies, and strengthened the capacity of close to 5,000 members of local development committees (CLD).
With this additional financing, almost 2.5 million people will benefit from the construction and maintenance of 2,000 community infrastructures, including at least 500 schools in support of the free primary education program, and 300,000 people will receive a total of $100 million in cash transfers in the 1,000 communities targeted.
The STEP 2 project, implemented by the DRC’s Social Fund (FSRDC), will support the organization of the social protection sector through unprecedented partnerships with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS) and the National Refugee Commission (CNR). It will also help the country establish a social registry covering 1.8 million beneficiaries.
In the context of the COVID-19 response, STEP 2 will reallocate and rapidly mobilize funds to mitigate the socioeconomic effects on the Congolese people and better protect the most vulnerable households.
This second round of additional financing for the DRC Eastern Recovery Project includes a $285 million credit and a $160 million grant.
*The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides 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 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources help effect positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in the countries that are eligible for its assistance. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.