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IDA funds Nigerian water services upgrades

IDA funds Nigerian water services upgrades

Apr 23, 2014

A recent statement from the World Bank says the organisation has approved a credit of US$250 million from the International Development Association (IDA) to help the Nigerian Government in its efforts to increase access to water supply services and to boost the financial and management of existing water utilities.

Part of the World Bank, the IDA was established in 1960 to the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve overall quality of life.

The new funds will target the poor, urban population in the state capital and surrounding area and benefit around two million people. The funding will support the Third National Urban Water Sector Reform Project as well as Nigeria’s goal of developing more efficient mechanisms for social service delivery – especially water services.

The funds will also help rehabilitate (or build) water delivery infrastructure and systems required to expand access to water supply services for people in selected areas. Part of the project is performance-based and incentivised to improve performance of water supply operations.

Says Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria: “[This] project builds on past experience which has shown that building water infrastructure without strengthening the capacity of the institutions responsible for managing water supply to the targeted areas does not lead to sustainable results. We therefore hope that the new strategy – which puts more emphasis on this integrated approach – will contribute to improving the health and economic well-being of the country’s poorest and more vulnerable; particularly women and girls who spend a lot of time fetching water.”

The Government’s Federal Ministry of Water Resources, tasked with providing sustainable access to safe and sufficient water to all Nigerians, will also benefit from strengthened capacity to monitor and benchmark the water sector’s performance and accordingly, increased accountability from the States for their performance.

“Women and children in Nigeria spend hours each day carrying water for their family’s use,” says Miguel Vargas-Ramírez, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project. “By improving water service delivery, this project will help open up time for the poor to pursue education and income-generating activities, and provide them with a better chance to boost themselves out of poverty.”

Note: IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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