NEW DELHI: The World Bank on Monday approved USD 391 million in financing to improve access to high-quality healthcare services and economic opportunities for people in Assam and Tripura.
The Assam State Secondary Healthcare Initiative for Service Delivery Transformation (ASSIST) Project, for which USD 251 million was approved, will improve access to high-quality secondary healthcare services in Assam and directly serve at least 1.8 million people, the World Bank said in a release. The global financial institution said the project will increase access to comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services and improve treatment and management of non-communicable diseases. The project will also upgrade up to 10 lower-level facilities to district hospitals in essential districts and strengthen the capacity of nurses and healthcare managers for better service delivery.
"Assam has made strides in increasing access to essential healthcare services, with 87 percent of women giving birth in a facility today compared to just 24 percent in 2005. ' But the rise in non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes poses a double burden on the state's healthcare system," said team leaders Amith Nagaraj and Elina Pradhan.
"This project will enhance the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the state and can potentially serve as a model for healthcare innovations for India's Northeast region and beyond." For the Tripura Rural Economic Growth and Service Delivery Project, USD 140 million has been approved, intending to promote socioeconomic development and improve the quality of life of 142,000 households in select tribal blocks and territories where tribal communities live and work.
More than 400 kilometres of rural roads will be upgraded to all-weather roads, providing farmers and communities living in hilly and forested areas with greater access to markets.
The World Bank said around 75,000 households will have improved livelihoods from climate-smart agriculture that will help produce fruits and vegetables. The project will also invest in learning outcomes for secondary school students by increasing enrollments for boys and skilling up teachers.
"The investments made under this project will be instrumental in diversifying local economies, generating new jobs and skills, and directly contributing to human capital development, while also reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change," said team leaders Priti Kumar, Anna O'Donnell, and Tesfamichael Nahusenay.
These loans for two of the northeastern India states were from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) with a maturity of 10.5 years, including a five-year grace period. (ANI)