The World Bank Board on 16 December approved four developmental projects in India worth over $ 800 million. The projects pertain to
- strengthening India’s social protection architecture
- promoting nutrition-supportive agriculture for tribal households in Chhattisgarh
- enhancing quality education in Nagaland and
- improving the safety and performance of existing dams across various states in Indi.
“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 in a statement.
These projects include Chhattisgarh Inclusive Rural and Accelerated Agriculture Growth Project (CHIRAAG), Nagaland: Enhancing Classroom Teaching and Resources Project, Second Accelerating India’s Covid-19 Social Protection Response Program and Second Dam Improvement and Rehabilitation Project (DRIP-2).
The $ 100-million project 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 1,80,000 households from about 1,000 villages in eight districts of Chhattisgarh.
The $ 68-million project will improve 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 that Covid-19 has posed.
The $ 400-million project 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.
The $ 250-million project 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 groundwater, thereby, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.