The World Bank on Wednesday approved four India projects worth over $800 million to support development initiatives. The projects that have been approved are: Chhattisgarh Inclusive Rural and Accelerated Agriculture Growth Project (CHIRAAG); Nagaland Enhancing Classroom Teaching and Resources Project and Second Dam Improvement and Rehabilitation Project (DRIP-2).
The projects support a range of development initiatives 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 India. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India said 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, he said. “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,” he added.
The $400 million Second Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme 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 USD 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 programmes to create a portable social protection platform ensuring food and cash support for poor households, urban migrants, and unorganized sector workers across state boundaries, it said.
The $250 million Second Dam Improvement and Rehabilitation Project (DRIP-2) will improve the safety and performance of existing dams across various states of India and it will strengthen dam safety by building dam safety guidelines, bring in global experience, and introduce newer technologies.
Nagaland Enhancing Classroom Teaching and Resources Project ($68 million) 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.
The $100 million CHIRAAG 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 180,000 households from about 1,000 villages in eight districts of Chhattisgarh, it added.