News Column

New US$5.6 Million Credit Agreement to Improve Access to Basic Services in Djibouti City

May 14, 2014



WASHINGTON, May 14 -- World Bank issued the following news release:

The World Bank Group Board of Directors approved today a US$5.6 million credit for Djibouti to support the government's Second Urban Poverty Reduction Project (DUPREP II). This highly concessional credit is designed to assist the government's efforts to increase access to basic urban services in one of Djibouti City's poorest neighborhoods, Quartier 7 (Q7).

The project is aligned with the Bank's new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), announced in March of this year, which aims to reduce the vulnerability of Djibouti's population by improving the country's basic infrastructure and services. In addressing vulnerable groups, the proposed project focuses more directly on improving resilience to hazards and developing new opportunities for revenue-generating activities.

''The urban development challenges in Djibouti--a country almost 80 percent urbanized--are immense," said Inger Andersen, World Bank Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region. "This integrated approach to urban poverty will build up much needed infrastructure and services in areas such as Q7, and provide the government with tools to scale-up those efforts and reduce the proliferation of slums on the edge of the city."

The project targets the 25,000 residents of Q7, a flood-prone area in which 70 percent of households have no sewage system. The residents of this neighborhood, the densest in Djibouti City, will benefit from increased access to basic services, urban mobility, flood management, community development activities, and on-site job opportunities. DUPREP II builds on 30 years of Bank engagement in the urban sector in Djibouti, and is a follow-up to the Djibouti Urban Poverty Reduction Project which initiated the transformation of Q7. The inclusion of the neighborhood's population in the process of upgrading local infrastructure and building up local institutions will be a key component of the project, with special emphasis on the inclusion of women.

With this new credit, the Bank will also continue to support the government's commitment to disaster risk management. The project will focus on reducing Q7 residents' vulnerability to urban floods and improvements to the infrastructure needed to access and evacuate the neighborhood in times of emergency.

In addition, the project aims to build institutional capacities in terms of urban planning and development. More specifically, it will help finance multiple planning tools targeting areas under or due to be under development in order to prevent the spread of informal settlements.

The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group's arm for the world's poorest countries, currently has a portfolio of seven projects in Djibouti totaling about US$57 million, as well as three projects financed by trust funds totaling almost US$11 million. These resources address needs in the areas of social safety nets, energy, rural community development, urban poverty reduction, education, and health. Under a new country partnership strategy announced in March, US$25 million in IDA financing has been earmarked for new programs in 2014/17.

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Source: Targeted News Service


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