Loans to help China improve urban water environments, build skills for workers

BEIJING, China, June 2, 2009 -- Three new World Bank loans to China, totaling US$250 million, have been approved  by the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors in support of water projects...

WASHINGTON, DC, and BEIJING, China, June 2, 2009 -- Three new World Bank loans to China, totaling US$250 million, were approved today by the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors in support of projects to improve water and wastewater management in Jiangsu Province, enhance flood protection in Qinghai Province, and increase the quality and relevance of technical education in Guangdong.

The Jiangsu Water and Wastewater Project, with a World Bank loan of US$130 million, seeks to improve the living standards of the urban residents in Jiangsu Province on the eastern coast of China through improved water supply and wastewater systems. The project will support the aggregation of city water supply systems from central urban areas with those from smaller, nearby towns to increase service efficiency and improve the quality and reliability of town water supplies. It will finance the construction of new water intakes, water treatment plants, water transmission lines, booster pump stations and distribution networks. It will also support the construction of wastewater treatment plants and associated sewerage pipelines in several key cities and towns in Jiangsu Province.

The Xining Flood and Watershed Management Project, with a World Bank loan of US$100 million, will assist Xining Municipality in Qinghai Province to enhance its flood protection capacity, increase the collection of wastewater which currently flows directly into the river and improve soil and water conservation in 17 watershed areas. More specifically, the project will finance infrastructure such as dikes, access roads, water level control structures, and wastewater and storm water collection pipeline systems. A participatory approach to watershed management will be adopted so that local communities are involved in the design and implementation of the program activities.

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project focuses support on Guangdong Province -- one of China's major labor-intensive manufacturing centers and the recipient of a large number of rural migrant workers. The project aims to expand employment opportunities for youth and migrant workers by improving the quality and relevance of technical and vocational education and training in selected schools in the province. The US$20 million loan will be used to pilot test a competency-based approach to technical and vocational education and help to strengthen local capacity to deliver a curriculum that emphasizes the skills sought by industry. The experience gained will be shared with other schools in Guangdong and used as a guide to further school reforms and policy development.

"These projects are excellent examples of the ways in which the World Bank is helping China address environmental and social issues through innovative approaches that can potentially be scaled up to have significant effect at the national level," said David Dollar, World Bank Country Director for China.

>> More information on the Jiangsu Water and Wastewater Project
>> More information on the Xining Flood and Watershed Management Project
>> More information on the Guangdong Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project
>> More information on the World Bank's work in China

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