WASHINGTON, June 26, 2023—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a total of $391 million in financing to improve access to high-quality healthcare services and to economic opportunities for people living in India’s northeastern states of Assam and Tripura.
“The World Bank is committed to supporting the Government of India’s development efforts in the northeast of the country,” said Auguste Tano Kouame, World Bank Country Director for India. “In Assam, greater access to reliable health services will help people save money and time – and be more productive. In Tripura, access to upgraded all-weather roads and green agriculture technologies will help improve the lives and livelihoods of tribal populations, especially women.”
The Assam State Secondary Healthcare Initiative for Service Delivery Transformation (ASSIST) Project ($251 million) will improve access to high-quality secondary healthcare services in Assam and directly serve at least 1.8 million people. The project will increase access to comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services and improve treatment and management of non-communicable diseases. The project will also upgrade up to 10 lower-level facilities to district hospitals in essential districts and strengthen the capacity of nurses and healthcare managers for better service delivery.
“Assam has made strides in increasing access to essential healthcare services, with 87 percent of women giving birth in a facility today compared to just 24 percent in 2005. ‘But the rise in non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes poses a double burden on the state’s healthcare system,” said team leaders Amith Nagaraj and Elina Pradhan. “This project will enhance the quality and efficiency of health care in the state and can potentially serve as a model for healthcare innovations for India’s Northeast region and beyond.”
The Tripura Rural Economic Growth and Service Delivery Project ($140 million) aims to promote socioeconomic development and improve the quality of life of 142,000 households in select tribal blocks, territories where tribal communities live and work. More than 400 kilometers of rural roads will be upgraded to all-weather roads, providing farmers and communities living in hilly and forested areas with greater access to markets. Around 75,000 households will have improved livelihoods from climate-smart agriculture that will help to produce fruits and vegetables. The project will also invest in learning outcomes for secondary school students by increasing enrollments for boys and skilling up teachers.
“The investments made under this project will be instrumental in diversifying local economies, generating new jobs and skills, and directly contributing to human capital development, while also reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change,” said team leaders Priti Kumar, Anna O’Donnell, and Tesfamichael Nahusenay.
The $251 million variable spread loan for Assam and $140 million loan for Tripura are from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) with a maturity of 10.5 years including a five-year grace period.