World Bank Approves $452 Million to Improve Rural Connectivity in Assam

The $452 million Assam Resilient Rural Bridges Program aims to strengthen the resilience and management of roads and bridges to help people living in 1,739 villages.
World Bank Approves $452 Million to Improve Rural Connectivity in Assam
World Bank Approves $452 Million to Improve Rural Connectivity in Assam

The World Bank has approved a new program to support Assam and improve connectivity for over 1.8 million people living in rural areas especially during extreme weather.

The $452 million Assam Resilient Rural Bridges Program aims to strengthen the resilience and management of roads and bridges to help people living in 1,739 villages gain round-the-year access to wholesale markets, schools, hospitals, and places of work. As a result of better connectivity, savings of more than $82 million within the next six years are expected against the earlier costs for people to journey to these places.

Assam is the largest state in northeast India and the gateway to Southeast Asia and South Asian markets. However, it is frequently exposed to climate events such as floods, cyclones, and landslides. Currently, the lack of proper connectivity to bridges and roads throughout the year is causing discomfort in the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmer communities and tribal settlements.

This program is also expected to connect around 633,000 women-led textile and handicraft producers living within 2 km of roads or collection points.

The program will also establish electric vehicles and logistics hubs, which will facilitate entry into regional markets while minimizing emissions.

Auguste Tano Kouamé, the World Bank’s Country Director for India said, “The Program will support the Government of Assam to attract private investment for quality jobs, increase farmers’ incomes, and enhance value chains thus promoting inclusive and diversified growth in the rural sector."

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