Washington, DC: The World Bank today approved $1 billion credit for India's National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP) aimed at strengthening the implementation of the government's newly launched National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), one of the world's largest poverty reduction initiative of approximately $7.7 billion, aiming to reach 350 million people or almost a quarter of India's population.
The project will help NRLM create an institutional platform by mobilizing rural poor, particularly women, into robust grassroots institutions of their own where, with the strength of the group behind them, they will be able to exert voice and accountability over providers of educational, health, nutritional and financial services.
This, based on past experience in several Indian states, is expected to have a transformational social impact, supporting India's efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on nutrition, gender, and poverty.
''The success of NRLM, which is expected to serve as a backbone for pulling together all other poverty reduction efforts under one umbrella, will help India move closer to some of the key MDGs in the near future,'' said Venu Rajamony, joint secretary in the department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, Government of India. ''Past experience in implementing livelihood projects have shown that such programs have made a significant impact in the ability of the rural poor to access better quality services be it in education, health or financial services.''
The National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP), approved today, will help the programme scale up the successes of past livelihoods initiatives to other lagging regions of the country.
World Bank supported livelihoods projects in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu have mobilized some 35 million rural poor since 2000.