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|July 2, 1998||
Another loan from World Bank: $300 million for childcare
The World Bank has approved a $ 300 million loan for a woman and child development project in Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh aimed at reducing the number of infant, child and maternal illnesses and deaths.
An additional $ 76.4 million has been sanctioned by the bank for health systems development project in Orissa.
The woman and child development project will support the government's Integrated Child Development Services programme in these five states by improving childcare practices affecting the health, nutrition and early development of children under six years. Particular emphasis will be laid on preventing malnutrition in children under three years.
''Malnutrition diminishes the human potential of half of India's children and affects their growth, their health and their ability to learn,'' Anthony Measham, health, nutrition and population advisor of the World Bank's Delhi office said. ''The project supports the ICDS programme, the world's largest early childhood development programme which focuses on young children and pregnant and nursing women, and is targeted at the poor, and uses village-level workers,'' a World Bank statement quoted him as saying.
The project will also focus heavily on the health of women, particularly teenage girls and pregnant and breast-feeding mothers. It will include efforts to enhance women's broader development and their ability to address issues of malnutrition at the household level.
An important aspect of the project is strengthening the ICDS programme in the remaining states through high-quality support and training to health and nutrition workers. Over 18 million poor children under the age of six, women of reproductive age, teenage girls and 2.3 million other people in about 10.8 million at-risk households will be covered under the project, the release said.
The project in Orissa aims to make the health system more efficient and improve access to selected basic health services with special emphasis on women, children, tribal people and other disadvantaged groups. Observing that health indicators for communicable diseases and infant and maternal mortality in Orissa are well below India's national average, the release says the beneficiaries of this project belong to the poorest 40 per cent of the population.
To ensure that patients with complex health problems are identified and treated in a timely manner, the project will help strengthen the state's referral system, especially women needing emergency obstetric care.
The total cost of the Orissa project is $ 90.7 million. While the World Bank is providing $ 76.4 million, the balance of $ 14.3 million will be met by the government of Orissa.
The total project costs for the woman and child development project are $ 422.3 million. The World Bank is providing $ 300 million and the remaining $ 122.3 million is being shared by the Government of India and the respective states, the release added.
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