WB provides USD 100 mn for poverty alleviation project in AP


Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Project, since its inception in 2003, has raised incomes of some 10 million rural women, the World Bank said today.
"This programme has had a remarkable impact on the lives of the rural poor in Andhra Pradesh," Roberto Zagha, World Bank Country Director for India, said.

"We have seen incomes increase for close to 90 per cent of poor rural households. This additional financing will help improve efficiency and effectiveness of the programme by adopting new technologies and innovative service delivery models for achieving full inclusion of the poor households," Zagha said.

The Bank said the project objectives will remain the same as the original project, that is, to enable the rural poor, particularly the poorest of the poor, improve their livelihoods and quality of life.
This is the second additional financing for this project and it will help scale up the impressive achievements to date, it said.

"This additional financing will help build capacity of community institutions to enable them to deal more effectively with the commercial banks, the market institutions, public sector departments, and developing new partnerships with the cooperatives and the private sector,"said Parmesh Shah, World Bank Lead Rural Development Specialist and project team leader
"We expect this approach to bring even higher returns on the investments in the institutional platform of the poor already made. This phase will also work towards achieving significant decrease in malnutrition and maternal mortality for the rural poor," he said.
The World Bank said the project has mobilised some 10 million poor women, or 90 per cent of the poor in the project districts, into nearly 850,000 Self Help Groups. These SHGs have used seed money to pool resources and make small loans to help each other pay for education, medical treatment, food, and other small but important needs.

The SHGs formed federations, leveraging their finances and influence, and even began to deliver insurance, ambulance, extension, commercial and government services. These SHGs have collective savings of USD 805 million and leveraged commercial bank linkages of USD 4.3 billion. It means that every dollar invested by the project has leveraged USD 12 from commercial banks.

Meanwhile, the project's community managed sustainable agriculture program has led to aggregate annual cost savings of USD 69.5 million and the employment generation program has created 185,748 jobs for the rural youth.

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