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WB to Fund $400m for Rural Development Projects

The World Bank has approved an additional $400 million in funding to finance the repair and construction of health centres, schools, roads and drinking water systems in rural Myanmar.

The additional financing from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for low-income countries – together with financing from the Myanmar government and with co-financing from Italy – will scale up the program to improve access to basic services and essential infrastructure for an estimated 7 million people across 62 townships.

“These additional funds will help to transform the way rural development works. They will empower and motivate communities, by putting people in charge of how to manage community development resources,” said U Ohn Myint, minister for livestock, fisheries and rural development.

Community Driven Development is an important element of Myanmar’s rural poverty reduction strategy. The NCDDP project, since 2012, focuses on engagement with communities in poor and historically underserved rural areas. Now in its second cycle, over 1,000 sub-projects will be identified, designed and implemented by communities over the next several months, the World Bank said.

Myanmar’s experience with the NCDDP to date and experiences in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Afghanistan have shown the potential to advance community-grounded development on a national scale, including in conflict-affected areas.

“Myanmar’s Community Driven Development Project has financed more than 350 subprojects to improve people’s lives in often remote rural communities,” said Ulrich Zachau, country director for the World Bank for South East Asia.

“This new financing will help Myanmar expand the program, bringing clean water, better schools and safer access to markets to 1,700 villages across nine townships, and ultimately, to communities across 62 townships.”

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