$220 million World Bank credit for Bihar flood-affected

September 10th, 2010 - 11:38 am ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, Sep 10 (IANS) The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, has approved a $220 million credit to support rebuilding efforts in areas affected by the 2008 Kosi floods in Bihar.

The Bihar Kosi Flood Recovery Project will finance flood recovery efforts through the reconstruction of about 100,000 houses, 90 bridges and 290 kilometres of rural roads, the Bank announced Thursday.

It also aims to reduce future oriented risks by strengthening flood management capacity, restoring livelihoods, and improving the emergency response capability of the state of Bihar through a provision of contingency funding.

The 2008 floods affected about 3.3 million people in five districts of Bihar. About one million people were evacuated, 460,000 people were provided temporary shelter in 360 relief camps, and more than 500 people lost their lives.

“For more than a decade, the Bank has been assisting the Government of India in effectively responding to disasters. We will bring the lessons learned from the past to our efforts in Bihar,” said Roberto Zagha, Country Director, World Bank India.

The project has five key components:

* Owner Driven Housing Reconstruction, which will reconstruct the damaged houses of about 100,000 households using an owner driven reconstruction model.

* Reconstruction of Roads and Bridges to help restore connectivity by reconstruction of damaged roads and bridges. About 2.2 million people are expected to be benefited through the construction of about 90 bridges and culverts on the State Highway and Major District Roads and reconstruction of about 290 km of rural roads.

* Strengthening Flood Management Capacity, which will focus on strengthening the overall flood forecasting and flood-erosion management capacity in Bihar.

* Livelihood Restoration and Enhancement, which will help build social and financial capital, and restore and expand the livelihood opportunities of the affected people.

* Improving Emergency Response Capacity, which will provide contingency funding for works, goods and services required to respond in case of future calamities.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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