Georgia

Georgia: World Bank supports rural development

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WASHINGTON, June 30, 2005 The World Bank today approved US$13 million in additional financing to Georgia for an Irigation and Drainage Community Development Project (IDCDP). This project has been restructured with the help of additional financing to add a new objective and associated component in response to unusually heavy floods Georgia experienced during the spring of 2005. US$5.2 million will be provided as an IDA grant and US $7.2 million as an IDA credit.
The recent floods caused destruction or damage of infrastructure, including river embankments and irrigation structures, cut off large parts of affected districts, and affected thousands of hectares of farmlands. The proposed additional credit and grant would assist the government with the reconstruction of flood protection embankments and irrigation headworks and conveyance canals that have been destroyed or severely damaged by the recent floods. The development objective of the proposed additional component would be to improve and secure the sustainability of river flood protection works and irrigation headworks and canals, which, if unattended, could lead to increased flooding occurrences and infrastructure damage, and subsequent human life and economic losses.

"The government has pledged to allocate GEL 20 million (US$ 11 million equivalent) for immediate flood relief and compensation of affected people, and rehabilitation works for roads and bridges", said Roy Southworth, Country Manager for Georgia.

"IDA can therefore focus its assistance on reconstruction of infrastructure that has either an important flood protection function or that is critical for guaranteed irrigation water supply for agricultural purposes", added Joop Stoutjesdijk, Lead Irrigation Engineer. Stoutjesdijk added that "the project will use innovative and cost effective design and construction measures that will be sustainable, so tha the reconstructed infrastructure can serve the beneficiaries for a long time."

The expected outcomes for the additional component of US $13 million are: (i) to return flood-damaged irrigation infrastructure to operational conditions thereby guaranteeing water abstraction and conveyance; and (ii) to return flood-damaged river embankments to fully operational conditions. The key outcome indicators to be measured include: (i) a command area of 80,000 ha, serving about 90,000 farm families, served with required irrigation water; and (ii) flood hazards removed for 30 villages, with 25,000 households and large areas with public and private infrastructure.

The additional IDA Credit would be repayable in 40 years, including a grace period of 10 years.

IDCDP was approved on June 28, 2001, with a credit amount of US$ 27 million. The Project's original development objective is to increase agricultural production and farm incomes on about 110, 000 ha by arresting further deterioration of irrigation and drainage infrastructure.

For more information about this project, visit: http://www.worldbank.org/projects

Georgia joined the World Bank in 1993. Since then, commitments to the country total approximately about US$ 783 million for 38 operations.

For more information about the World Bank's work in Georgia, visit: www.worldbank.org/ge

Contacts:

In Tbilisi: Inga Paichadze
Tel.: (99532) 91 30 96 / 91 26 59
E-mail:ipaichadze@worldbank.org