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World Bank OKs P13.5 billion loan for Philippines rural development
The World Bank has approved $280 million out of the $385.44 million (P18.62 billion) for the second financing of the Philippine Rural Development Project to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture.
STAR/ File

World Bank OKs P13.5 billion loan for Philippines rural development

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 19, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has secured a $280-million (P13.5 billion) financing from the World Bank to increase rural incomes and enhance farm productivity in the country.

The World Bank has approved $280 million out of the $385.44 million (P18.62 billion) for the second financing of the Philippine Rural Development Project to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture.

Another 18.3 million euros (P1.05 billion) in grant for the PRDP was also approved by the European Union (EU).

The EU grant aims to co-finance and provide incentives for local government units in Mindanao with higher poverty incidence, lower capacity, more conflict-affected areas, and larger numbers of indigenous people.

The second round of financing is building on the gains of PRDP which was started in 2014.

The PRDP will support 267 climate-resilient rural infrastructure and 287 enterprise development subprojects to boost rural incomes, and strengthen planning and implementation capacities among local government units and producer organizations.

The project is expected to benefit over 300,000 rural residents in select areas in the country and will help address climate vulnerability in agriculture through a range of investments.

This includes rural roads designed to withstand adverse weather events to ensure uninterrupted connectivity and access to markets and communal irrigation subprojects to address water scarcity and avoid the risk of large-scale crop failure.

Other programmed investments include warehouse facilities and solar dryers to prevent post-harvest crop losses, and greenhouses to protect selected crops from extreme heat and support improved water management, among others.

World Bank country director Ndiame Diop said the latest financing would aid in overall efforts to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity by targeting investments in agriculture, a major source of livelihood and income in the rural areas

The additional financing will also expand the inclusiveness of PRDP by supporting more local government units in Mindanao that experience poverty and conflict.

To date, 454 rural infrastructure sub-projects, benefiting 608,887 households have been approved, and 261 are completed. Around 1,229 kilometers of farm-to-market roads have been completed, and 859 kilometers are under construction.

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