World Bank : US$ 100 million loan to stimulate rural production sustainability (Google / Finchannel)

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60,000 to benefit from Socially Inclusive Growth project in rural areas of the State of Ceará (N.E.Brazil)

The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$ 100 million loan to stimulate rural production sustainability, increase income generation, and promote universal access to water and sanitation services in the State of Ceará, in Brazil’s Northeast. The Ceará Rural Sustainable and Competitiveness project will directly benefit 60,000 people living in rural areas.

“The state of Ceará has grown above the national average in recent years. In 2011, Gross Domestic Product grew 4.3 percent, while Brazil’s average was 2.7 percent. This mainly relates to public investments made by the State Government, including projects focused on agriculture that guarantee water supply to small farmers. Investments in this area have led to employment and income increase. The World Bank has been a great partner in this achievement,” said the Governor of Ceará, Cid Gomes.

One of Brazil’s driest states, Ceará faces severe weather conditions, with 87 percent of its territory in semi-arid areas. Frequent prolonged droughts, desertification and occasional flooding have caused major human disasters with huge impacts on agriculture and food production.

Water supply and sanitation are also major concerns. In 2009, 91 percent of the urban population had access to safe water, against only 17 percent in the rural area. In sanitation the figures are more alarming: basic services are available for only 37 percent of urban citizens and 0.20 percent of rural inhabitants.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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