DUSHANBE, February 5 (RIA Novosti) – The World Bank has granted Tajikistan $45.9 million to finance its second Public Employment for Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resources Management Project, the international lender said on Tuesday.
The grant agreement was signed in Dushanbe by Tajikistan's Finance Minister Safarali Najmiddinov and the World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan, Marsha Olive.
The project will help more than 770,000 residents of the southern Khatlon region to get temporary public employment and repair important irrigation and drainage infrastructure, Najmiddinov said.
“The repair of the irrigation and drainage infrastructure will improve irrigation of about 190,000 hectares of land. As a result, the project will improve the harvest yield of agricultural crops by 10 percent,” the minister said.
“I am glad to see this project expanding and covering new districts of Tajikistan as food security is essential for the well-being of children and adults everywhere,” Marsha Olive said. “By providing temporary employment opportunities we intend to help rural households not only earn additional income, but improve access to irrigation so they can get higher crop yields from their land in many years to come.”
Food price volatility remains a concern for the country as it poses additional risks to individuals and families in rural areas in particular, the World Bank said in a statement.
“Given that expenditures on food absorb more than half of household budgets in Tajikistan, the project aims to provide much needed support to rural families,” it said.
The World Bank’s active portfolio in Tajikistan currently consists of 15 projects worth $252.8 million.