Monday, February 14, 2011

Credit for livelihood opportunities

The World Bank has approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $162.7 million to help improve livelihood opportunities for some 400,000 village households in 17 districts of Rajasthan.

The Bank has also approved a credit of $7.98 million additional finance for an ongoing watershed development project in Uttarakhand that is helping rural communities increase agriculture productivity as well as rural incomes through a decentralized watershed management approach.

The funding for the Rajasthan Rural Livelihoods Project will help improve economic opportunities for rural communities, especially women and marginal groups, in 9,000 villages of the state, the Bank said in a release.

The Project aims to help the state government raise income levels for some 400,000 rural poor households in Rajasthan.

"This Project with the World Bank is building on the successful livelihood initiatives undertaken in India to provide mechanisms by which rural households can improve their overall economic well-being," said Venu Rajamony, joint secretary, department of economic affairs, ministry of finance.

"Global experience has shown that while general growth of the economy helps reduce poverty, it needs to be complemented by specific strategies designed to expand opportunities for the poor," said Roberto Zagha , World Bank country director for India.

Both IDA credits provided by the World Bank's fund for the poorest have 35 years to maturity and a 10-year grace period.

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