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Water, sanitation improvements in Bangladesh get World Bank funding

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DHAKA, Bangladesh, July 26 2010 -- The Government of Bangladesh today signed a credit agreement worth US$ 170 million for Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project (CWSISP) with the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's concessionary arm to help improve water and sanitation services in Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh.

The CWSISP will support the improvement of water supply and sanitation services in Chittagong city with approximately 4 million inhabitants. The project will support the Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (CWASA) to improve its services through construction of selected water production, transmission, and storage and distribution facilities. The project has a special focus to serve the poor population living in urban slums. At present piped distribution networks are largely nonexistent in these areas.

"The Government is committed to increase access to safe water and sanitation services for its people as highlighted in the Second National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction (NSAPR-II). This project will make a significant contribution in ensuring increased access of these services to the people of Chittagong and will also support CWASA's institutional development." said Mr. Arastoo Khan, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division.

"Currently, CWASA covers 35% of the estimated demand for water in Chittagong." said Tahseen Sayed, Acting Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh. "The World Bank will support the Government's efforts to increase the citizens' access to safe water and sanitation services in the port city with a special outreach to the slum areas. Piped water supply services to slum areas will be expanded and approximately 250,000 poor slum dwellers are expected to receive water and sanitation services."

CWSISP will support formulation of sewerage and drainage master plan for Chittagong. The project will also support a comprehensive institutional development of CWASA. The project aims to increase production, rehabilitation and expansion of CWASA's water distribution network, leading to increased access to safe water.

The agreement was signed at the Economic Relations Division today afternoon. Mr. Arastoo Khan, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division and Ms. Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Acting Country Director, signed on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively.

The credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity, including a 10-year grace period; and carries a service charge of 0.75 percent.

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