The World Bank today said its board of executive directors has approved a USD 150 million (about Rs 1,112 crore) programme to support Tamil Nadu’s vision of making Chennai into a world-class city that is more green, livable, and resilient to climate change.
Besides, the World Bank has given its nod to a USD 40 million (around Rs 296 crore) project which will improve the quality of health services in Meghalaya and strengthen the state’s capacity to handle health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USD 150 million ”Chennai City Partnership: Sustainable Urban Services Program” will help strengthen institutions, improve the financial health of service agencies, and drive significant improvements in the quality of four key urban services — water supply and sewerage, mobility, health, and solid waste management, the World Bank said in a statement.
Chennai Metropolitan Area, home to about 10.9 million people, is India’s fourth most populous metropolitan area.
Despite being an economic powerhouse, Chennai has not kept pace with growing demand for key services, it said, adding the coastal city also remains highly vulnerable to natural disasters, climate change and, as the COVID-19 emergency revealed, to pandemics.
With regard to the Meghalaya loan, the World Bank in a separate statement said all 11 districts of the state will benefit from the project.
It will also benefit health sector staff at the primary and secondary levels by strengthening their planning and management capabilities and building their clinical skills. The project will enable women to better utilise healthcare services at the community level, it added.
“Under-five mortality in Meghalaya was 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019-20. Stunting among under-fives was 47 percent — a marginal increase from the previous survey (2015-16). A few districts perform better than others and rural-urban differences exist, with urban areas performing better in most health indicators,” it said.
Meanwhile, non-communicable diseases (including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer) account for more than half of the disease burden in the state, it said.
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