World Bank supports projects worth $800 million for India  


New Delhi, Dec 17: Extending support for a range of development initiatives including agriculture for tribal households in Chhattisgarh, the World Bank has approved four India projects worth over $800 million.

Besides, enhancing quality education in Nagaland and improving the safety and performance of existing dams across various states in India are among four projects being supported by the World Bank.

“The four projects will support India’s efforts to build back better by creating a sustainable and resilient economy. Development work today has an additional responsibility – to help poor and vulnerable families roll back the adverse impact that the pandemic has had on their lives,” said Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India.

“These projects will help many such families access better income opportunities, education, water supply and benefit from the expanded social protection schemes of the government.”

The $100 million Chhattisgarh Inclusive Rural and Accelerated Agriculture Growth Project (CHIRAAG)  will develop sustainable production systems that allow tribal households in remote areas of Chhattisgarh to practice round-the-year production of diversified and nutritious food.

It will be implemented in the southern tribal-majority region of the state where a large population is undernourished and poor. The project will benefit over 180,000 households from about 1,000 villages in eight districts of Chhattisgarh.

In Nagaland, the $68 million Enhancing Classroom Teaching and Resources Project envisages improvement in classroom instruction; create opportunities for the professional development of teachers; and build technology systems to provide students and teachers with more access to blended and online learning as well as allow better monitoring of policies and programs.

Such an integrated approach will complement conventional delivery models and help mitigate the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Second Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme involving the $400 million will support India’s efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the second operation in a programmatic series of two. The first operation of $750 million was approved in May 2020. It enabled immediate cash transfers to about 320 million individual bank accounts identified through pre-existing national social protection schemes under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) and additional food rations for about 800 million individuals.

The second operation will complement the expansion of India’s safety net programs to create a portable social protection platform ensuring food and cash support for poor households, urban migrants, and unorganized sector workers across state boundaries.

Second Dam Improvement and Rehabilitation Project worth $250 million will improve the safety and performance of existing dams across various states of India. It will strengthen dam safety by building dam safety guidelines; bring in global experience; and introduce newer technologies.

The project will help sustain the livelihoods and food security of millions of Indians who depend on irrigated agriculture and enable farmers to shift out of pumping ground water, thereby, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.