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World Bank approves $1.5b to support clean India campaign

 World Bank

The World Bank has approved a $1.5 billion loan for the ambitious clean India campaign to support the government in its efforts to ensure all citizens in rural areas have access to improved sanitation and end the practice of open defecation by 2019. As per World Bank statistics, of the 2.4 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation globally, more than 750 million live in India, with 80 per cent living in rural areas. More than 500 million of the rural population in India continue to defecate in the open, suffering from preventable deaths, illness, stunting, harassment and economic losses.

The loan will be used for Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Support Operation Project. “One in every ten deaths in India is linked to poor sanitation. And studies show that low-income households bear the maximum brunt of poor sanitation,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for India. The World Bank will also provide a parallel $25 million technical assistance to build the capacity of select state governments in implementing community-led behavioural change programmes targeting social norms to help ensure widespread usage of toilets by rural households.