World Bank approves US$ 1.5 billion to support Swachh Bharat Mission

WASHINGTON (TIP): World Bank has approved a loan of US$ 1.5 billion to Government of India for its Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Support Operation Project which is aimed at ensuring all citizens in rural areas have access to improved sanitation and end the practice of open defecation by 2019.

The loan will be disbursed over a five-year period and is for tenure of 18 years.

The World Bank has extended this loan with a view to strengthen the implementation of the Swachh Bharat initiative of Indian government, which will thereby result in significant health benefits for the poor and vulnerable in the rural areas.

Mr. Onno Ruhl, World Bank country director for India appreciated that the two important components of the project are incentivizing good performance by states and focusing on behavioral changes.

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) will play the overseeing and coordinating role for the program and support the participating states.

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The World Bank has also planned to provide a parallel US$ 25 million technical assistance to build the capacity of select state governments.

The assistance to states will help them implement community-led behavioral change programs targeting social norms to help ensure widespread usage of toilets by rural households.

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