World Bank loan of $600 mln for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

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New Delhi, Aug 14 (UNI) India today signed a financing agreement for Second Elementary Education Project (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan II) with the World Bank for a total assistance of 600 million dollars.

The World Bank's efforts to assist with 600 million dollars have been supplemented by two other external development partners, namely, Department for International Development (DFID, UK) and European Commission with 375 million dollars, an official statement said.

The total cost of SSA II project is around 10,700 million dollars; so the external development partners are financing about 11 per cent of the project cost.

The closing date of the project is March 31, 2010.

The project aims to significantly increase the number of children inthe age group 6-14 especially from special focus groups, enrolled, regularly attending and completing elementary education and demonstrating basic learning levels.

There are two key thrusts of activities financed under the project -- improving quality with equity and universalising access and promoting equity.

The agreement was signed here by Mr M Prasad, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government and Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, Acting Country Director on behalf of the World Bank.

UNI SBA AK GC2121

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