Madagascar and AfDB Sign US$ 15 Million Loan and Grant for Irrigation Project

25/03/2008
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Tunis, 25 March 2008 - The African Development Bank Group and Madagascar have signed loan and grant worth 9.5 million Units of Account (UA*), equivalent to US$ 15.3 million, to finance the Manombo Irrigation Area Rehabilitation Project (PRPIM), in the south-western part of the country.

The Agreements for the loan of 9.202 UA (US$ 14.82 million) and grant of 298,000 (US$ 480,000) from the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the Bank Group, were signed on Tuesday in Tunis by the Bank Group’s Vice President for Sector Operations, Zeinab El-Bakri, and Madagascar’s Finance and Budget minister, Haja Nirina Razafinjatovo.

The support will cover 82% of the entire project cost.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs El-Bakri said that the project will help improve living conditions and incomes of the people through investments in domains of rural infrastructure, improving food production and providing secure access to land as well as credit facilities.

"The Manombo Irrigation Area Rehabilitation project, which is in line with Madagascar Rural Development Action plan will benefit about 48,000 inhabitants of the area….and "reinforce the long and fruitful cooperation between the African Development Fund and the government (of Madagascar) with the successful examples of the Lower Mangoky Irrigation Area Rehabilitation as well as the preventive campaign against locust invasions," she said.

Finance and Budget Minister, Haja Nirina Razafinjatovo, for his part, said the project was in line with one of the first pillar of the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) which focuses on the rehabilitation of rural infrastructure and improvement of governance with a view to fostering growth and increasing agricultural production and fisheries.

He said the country had witnessed 30 years of fruitful relations with the Bank Group, assuring that the financial support "will be carefully deployed in the fight against poverty and for the general improvement of the Malagasy economy,"

The project aims at reducing rural poverty in the South West region where poverty levels in rural areas stand at 73.5%, as against 52% in urban areas; in line with the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and the Madagascar Action Plan.

The Bank Group commenced operations in Madagascar in 1977. To date, its commitments in the country net of cancellations stand at 293.5 million UA (US$ 472.5 million).

* 1 UA = 1.61055 US$ = 2823.42 MGA as at 25-03-2008


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