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World Bank approves $450m IDA credit to social safety net project in Tanzania

PSSN I targeted over 10 percent of the country’s population, approximately 650,000 households living under the food poverty line as well as about 350,000 at-risk of falling under that line, because of a shock affecting their income.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Washington DC | Updated: 13-09-2019 15:24 IST | Created: 13-09-2019 15:24 IST
World Bank approves $450m IDA credit to social safety net project in Tanzania
The objective of this Second Productive Social Safety Net Project is to provide poor households with income-earning opportunities and socio-economic services while enhancing and protecting the human capital of their children. Image Credit: www.worldbank.org

Over five million Tanzanians, more than half of them women will benefit from improved social safety nets supported by new financing approved today by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors.

The $450 million IDA credit to the Second Productive Social Safety Net Project (PSSN II), implemented by the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), will seek to improve food consumption and livelihoods while increasing children's primary school attendance and completion; as well as their access to health care. The financing will also improve secondary school participation.

"Tanzania's earlier social safety net program helped beneficiaries to save more money and obtain more assets. As a result, many had more food and access to better education and health care. Still, this new support will be critical to improve the lives of many more people in need and overall raise the country's human capital index, which is still very low at 0.40," said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director. "We will continue to work with the Government and engage with citizens and other stakeholders on the complex set of development issues facing the country and its people."

Tanzania successfully piloted a conditional cash transfer program in three districts from 2009 to 2012. It was eventually developed into a comprehensive and integrated national social safety net system – TASAF. In 2012, the Government began implementing the scaled-up first phase supported by IDA through the Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN I), which attained its target of reaching one million households by September 2015, well ahead of schedule.

PSSN I targeted over 10 percent of the country's population, approximately 650,000 households living under the food poverty line as well as about 350,000 at-risk of falling under that line, because of a shock affecting their income.

The objective of this Second Productive Social Safety Net Project is to provide poor households with income-earning opportunities and socio-economic services while enhancing and protecting the human capital of their children. This phase builds on the first phase's achievements and will especially focus on productive and financial inclusion, through support services such as public works, savings groups, training, and livelihood grants. Participants to the public works program are projected to increase from around 250,000 in 2019/20 to more than 830,000 in 2022/23, while the livelihood enhancement program will be scaled up from the current pilot stage to reach over 200,000 households by the end of the project.

"Due to population growth, despite the reduction in the extreme poverty rate, the absolute number of people living in extreme poverty increased between 2007 and 2018," said Muderis Abdulahi Mohammed, World Bank Senior Social Protection Specialist and Co-Task Team Leader. "Poor households face significant barriers in accessing existing livelihood opportunities and services and this second project will be placing a stronger focus to address and remove these barriers."

"PSSN II will support Tanzania's Social Action Fund to enable many extremely poor households not simply to temporarily move out of poverty, but to progressively build their asset base, human capital and resilience necessary to keep themselves out of poverty for the longer term," said Michele Zini, Senior Economist and Co-Task Team Leader.

In addition to the newly approved IDA support, the overall PSSN program is being financed by the Government of Tanzania as well as other Development Partners including: DFID, USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the International Fund for Agriculture Development, Government of Norway, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the OPEC Fund.

The World Bank has been engaging with the Government of Tanzania on a range of policy issues that led to a hold-up of financing since 2018 for important operations including those supporting Tanzania's human development goals. Approval of this project acknowledges efforts by the Government of Tanzania to address the policy issues by amending the Statistics Law (2018) in line with international practice, as well as the Government's commitment to facilitate all girls to complete their education.

The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.


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