Loan to water security initiatives in Brazil
Loan to Expand Successful Water Security Initiatives in Brazil’s Semi-Arid Region
Project focuses on safe access to water for the poor in drought-prone Ceará State
WASHINGTON, USA – The World Bank approved 2008-12-18 a US$103 million additional finance loan for the Ceará Integrated Water Resource Management Project (Progerirh). The loan will allow the semi-arid northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará to continue improving the management of water resources and to expand rural and urban access to drinking water, even during periods of drought.
“Since its beginnings in 2000, Progerirh has helped transform the water sector in Ceará,” said Cid Gomes, Governor of Ceará. “It enabled the State to dramatically improve management of both demand and supply of water, and contributed to expand reliable access to safe water for the poor in Fortaleza and other urban areas, as well as the countryside.”
The additional financing will continue to support the implementation of actions that promote the original objectives. It would consolidate the State water resources management system and its instruments while continuing to support the increase in water supply for multiple uses.
“Like other states of the poor Northeast of Brazil, water scarcity limits Ceará’s economic and social development. For twenty years the Bank has been a close partner to the State, in improving both its water infrastructure and water institutions. Over this period the State has made major advances, and has become an acknowledged leader in water management in the country. This new loan will provide continued support which is vital both for management of Ceará’s own water and for the water it will receive from the inter-basin transfer from the São Francisco River,” said John Briscoe, World Bank Director for Brazil.
The Brazilian Northeast experiences critical problems related to water scarcity, with periodical, long and severe droughts and the associated deep economic and social problems. The State of Ceará, which has ninety-three percent of its territory in the semi-arid area, without any perennial rivers, is especially penalized by these climatic adversities.
“We would like to compliment the Government for their strong commitment to keeping water security a high priority for Ceará even in between droughts,” said Manuel Contijoch, Project Manager for the World Bank. “The Bank looks forward to continuing to work closely with the State Government on the project’s implementation, in order to expand the project’s many positive impacts and benefit all of Ceará’s population, but especially the poorest.”
This US$103 million additional financing from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the State of Ceará is guaranteed by the Government of Brazil. The loan period is 21 years, including a six-year grace period. The original Progerirh loan, totaling US$136 million, was signed on February 10, 2000. Since 1976, the World Bank has invested almost US$1.5 billion in Ceará, mainly for rural poverty reduction and water sector management.