30 May 2003

Tanzania: World Bank Provides US $250 Million to Fight Poverty

Nairobi — The World Bank announced on Thursday that it would provide US $250 million to support efforts by the Tanzanian government to reduce poverty in the country through three main operations: a Poverty Reduction Support Credit, a water supply and sanitation project for Dar es Salaam, and an agricultural development project.

"The programmes approved today represent concrete evidence of the World Bank and other development partners, under government leadership, working together in mutual trust towards the common goal of poverty reduction," said Judy O'Connor, World Bank country director for Tanzania.

The First Poverty Reduction Support Credit, supported by a $100 million credit and a $32 million grant, will be integrated into the government's budget to implement key strategies aimed at reducing poverty throughout the country by improving the management of government services and developing the private sector, "laying the foundation for attacking income poverty more effectively", the World Bank stated.

The Dar es Salaam Water Supply and Sanitation Project, supported by a $61.5 million credit, will aim to improve water supply and sanitation in Dar es Salaam and part of the coast region.

The Participatory Agricultural Development and Empowerment Project, supported by a $56.6 million credit, will fund efforts to raise agricultural productivity in rural areas "by empowering communities to make important decisions, sharing the costs of production, increasing their purchasing power, promoting improved farming practices, and assisting in the maintenance of infrastructure to improve access to the market place", the World Bank said.

Tanzania has remained one of the poorest countries in the world and is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for 50 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, "the country has continued to improve its growth and poverty focus over the past several years as evidenced by its GDP growth that reached an estimated 5.9 percent in real terms in 2002", the World Bank reported.

The World Bank also said it would soon present to its board of directors for approval a programme to help Tanzania in its fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

For more information about the World Bank's work in Tanzania, go to www.worldbank.org/tz. For more information about Tanzania, go to www.tanzania.go.tz.

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