World bank approves US$7 million sif project for Armenia

26.02.2010 19:23
World bank approves US$7 million sif project for Armenia

YEREVAN, February 26, /ARKA/. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved February 25 a US$7 million equivalent loan to Armenia as part of the Social Investment Fund III Project Second Additional Financing.

Head of World Bank Yerevan Office, Aristomene Varoudakis, said the Additional Financing will assist the Government of Armenia in its efforts to improve the living standards of the poor and vulnerable groups by expanding labor-intensive infrastructure projects in 35 rural communities across the country.

He said the project will focus on “infrastructure gaps”, or schools, kindergartens, potable water pipelines, community centers, and primary health clinics or ambulatories in need of repair or reconstruction throughout Armenia.

The World Bank said in a press release that the situation in Armenia’s rural areas, especially in remote and isolated communities, and the earthquake zone, is particularly severe. The project targets those populations most affected by the economic crisis, and the Additional Financing will help to meet these and other needs over the medium-term as part of the Government’s anti-crisis measures.

According to Aristomene Varoudakis, the loan will help crate some 200 new permanent jobs.

ASIF has successfully been in operation for the last decade. So far, 737 micro-projects in 298 rural and 74 urban communities, including the capital Yerevan, have been completed under the project, reaching out to 2.7 million beneficiaries across Armenia. The Additional Financing will support infrastructure improvements in 35 communities, and will create short-term employment of up to 68,600 days of labor. The loan’s maturity period is 25 years and the grace period is 10 years. -0-

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