World Bank regional vice-president visits Khatlon province to review progress of WB-funded projects
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On March 7, World Bank (WB) Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, Ms. Anna Bjerde, visited several World Bank-financed projects in the Tajik southern Khatlon province, the press release issued by the World Bank Country Office in Tajikistan says. In Vose district, the World Bank delegation, together with the Minister of Finance of Tajikistan Faiziddin Qahhorzoda, reportedly launched a new water supply system, rehabilitated with support from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project. The 'Javoni' water supply system has connected 10,000 residents from three villages to safely managed water services. The project, financed with a US$58 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA), is investing in improved water and sanitation services in districts of the southern Khatlon province which have the highest levels of poverty and inadequate access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions. With project support, around 400,000 people are expected to gain access to safe drinking water and around 100,000 people, mainly children, will benefit from investments in WASH facilities and hygiene training in schools. In Danghara, the delegation reportedly visited the Khatlon State Medical University, which is among 26 higher education institutions across Tajikistan to receive support from the World Bank-financed Higher Education Project. The University established and equipped four modern labs for medical students to practice their skills, review and update their academic programs, and created an online portal for lectures and other educational resources to be accessible to a wider audience. Students who used to only observe doctors carrying out surgeries in operating rooms can now try out techniques firsthand, building their confidence and better preparing them to care for the public. In total, HEP benefited around 28,000 students with nearly 40 percent of them being female students. 'These investments are just a few examples of how the World Bank is investing in the people of Tajikistan,' added Anna Bjerde. 'From supporting structural reforms under the newly approved budget support operation, to ensuring that rural communities have access to safe drinking water and schools have improved sanitation, we aim to support Tajikistan's efforts to build a strong and healthy human capital that is well-positioned to succeed in the future, be competitive, create jobs and contribute to the country's growth and prosperity.' Tajikistan joined the World Bank in 1993 and the International Development Association (IDA) in 1994. Currently, the World Bank is financing 25 projects in Tajikistan totaling US$1.59 billion. Since 1996, the World Bank has provided over US$2.72 billion in IDA grants, highly concessional credits, and trust funds for Tajikistan.