World Bank Offers Crisis Grant to Comoros to Create Jobs, Rebuild Infrastructure after Damaging Floods

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WASHINGTON, March 28, 2013 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a grant of US$3 million to help Comoros scale up an emergency response in parts of the island hit by recent devastating floods. The new financing will also help to alleviate the ongoing impact on communities of the global economic crisis and high food prices.

Under the existing Emergency Crises Response Project, this new grant will support job opportunities for 6,000 people, and help rebuild roads and other vital infrastructure. Since 2010, the project has already created cash-for-work opportunities for 4,000 people, over half of whom are women.

“The World Bank is continuing to support Comoros as it tackles the lingering effects of a series of crises on poor families,” said Haleh Z. Bridi, World Bank Country Director for Comoros. “Work opportunities created by the Comoros Emergency Crises Response Project are helping to cushion households against a loss of income during difficult times, and to restore basic services to people by rebuilding infrastructure.”

With a population of 680,000, Comoros is a small three-island country that is particularly vulnerable as it relies heavily on food imports and remittances from its citizens working abroad. The country suffered severe flood damage in early 2012, a setback in its efforts to fight poverty and reduce malnutrition.

The Comoros Emergency Crises Response Project has been financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)*, with an initial grant of just over US$5.3 million in 2010.

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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