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Friday, January 22, 2016

World Bank to provide $250-mn loan for Kosi Basin proj

India has signed a USD 250 million loan agreement with the World Bank for Bihar Kosi Basin Development project, aimed at enhancing resilience to floods and increase agriculture productivity. The objective of the project is to enhance resilience to floods and increase agricultural production and productivity in the targeted districts in the Kosi River Basin, and to enhance Bihar's capacity to respond promptly and effectively to an eligible crisis or emergency, Finance Ministry said in a statement. The primary beneficiaries will be rural producers and households in the Kosi River Basin who are regularly exposed to floods, it added. This includes farmers who lost their agricultural lands due to the silt deposits brought by the 2008 Kosi River Flood as well as farmers in the project area that are currently without access to irrigation and other technologies, improved agricultural practices and an adequate transport network, the statement said. The project has five components - Improving Flood Risk Management, Enhancing Agricultural Productivity and Competitiveness, Augmenting Connectivity, Contingent Emergency Response and Implementation Support. It is a loan for an implementation period of 5 years and the Bihar government is the implementing agency. The financing agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of Government of India and Onno Ruhl, Country Director in India, on behalf of the World Bank.