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World Bank, Madhya Pradesh take on poverty

World Bank, Madhya Pradesh take on poverty

Washington: The World Bank has on Wednesday approved a $100 million loan to trim down rural poverty in Madhya Pradesh where more than 16 million people live below the poverty line.

The Madhya Pradesh district poverty initiatives project (MPDPIP) is designed to empower the poor by organizing them into self help groups (SHGs), the bank said in a statement.

It will help develop the capacity of SHGs to start or enhance their livelihood activities and strengthen their business operations through producer-based federations, companies and cooperatives, the bank said.

An earlier version of the programme, approved by the bank in 2000, covered over 2,900 villages spread across 14 districts and helped organize some 325,000 poor rural households into over 52,000 common interest groups (CIGs), providing them with financial and technical assistance.

MPDPIP has achieved some very impressive results, said Roberto Zagha, the bank’s country director for India. “We have seen an increase in annual household income as well as value of agriculture production covering 300,000 poor rural households. This project will now scale up its activities to 5,000 villages," he said.

Nathan Belete, senior rural development economist and project task team leader, said women’s participation in household decision-making and attendance in gram sabha meetings have been enhanced substantially, through this project.

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