The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved three grants for a total of $133 million from the International Development Association (IDA)*, including funding from the Refugee and Host Communities IDA18 sub-window, to help improve access to basic infrastructure and services for poor and vulnerable communities in the southern regions of Trarza, Gorgol, Assaba, Guidimakha, Hodh el Gharbi and Hodh el Chargui at the borders with Senegal and Mali.
“Through this financial package, the World Bank is doubling its program in Mauritania with a specific focus on the most fragile areas of the country where climate change, poverty and growing insecurity is affecting the daily lives of people,” said World bank Country Manager, Laurent Msellati. “These three projects focus on the government’s priority to fight against exclusion, support the decentralization, and improve access to basic health services, drinking water, sanitation and electricity in secondary urban centers and rural areas, in particular in the Hodh regions supported by the Sahel Alliance. “
The approved package will finance the following two projects and provide additional financing to an existing Health support project:
The Decentralization and Productive Intermediate Cities Support project amounting to $66 million IDA grant will help improve access to local services in selected localities in the southern regions or wilayas, and will strengthen the capacities of local governments to plan and manage public services. In particular, the project will finance basic infrastructures and decentralized services in intermediate cities. The project will also benefit refugees and host communities by addressing the increase in demand for local services and providing opportunities for refugees to contribute to the local economy.
The Water and Sanitation Sectoral Project amounting to a $44 million IDA grant, will increase access to improved water and sanitation services in selected rural areas and small towns located in the same regions. In particular, the project will build and rehabilitate water systems, latrines and handwashing facilities in public centers, undertake water, sanitation and hygiene awareness raising campaigns, and
strengthen institutions capacities and performance. About 473,000 people living in rural areas, including the M’bera refugee camp in Hodh El Chargui, will benefit from the project.
An additional financing amounting to $23 million IDA grant will scale up the Mauritania Health System Support project and expand the utilization and quality of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health and nutrition services into the Hodh el Chargui region. In collaboration with humanitarian and development partners, the project will provide specific support to address the health needs of host communities and refugees, and will in particular reinforce the health facilities of the M’bera camp. The project will also provide Conditional Cash Transfers to poor households in order to promote vaccination, birth registration and nutrition services through the National Social Transfers program.