The World Bank Friday approved an International Development Association (IDA) package of $20 million to support Djibouti’s efforts to improve the living conditions for residents of urban areas, achieve its Zero Slum strategy.
Funded with a US$20 million from IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, combining credit and grant, the Integrated Slum Upgrading Project will improve access to urban and social services and to better job opportunities through increased mobility to more than 120,000 city dwellers, the WB said in a press release.
“The Government of Djibouti has the ambition to eliminate slums in its territory and provide good living conditions to all its citizens” said Amina Abdi, Minister of Housing in Djibouti, “this operation is an important milestone of that transformational agenda and constitutes the first financing of a large restructuring program”.
Djibouti Ville’s high urban growth rate is a result of natural demographic growth combined with a continuous inflow of people both from rural areas inside Djibouti and from neighboring countries. While an increasing number of people relocated to the urban area in search for economic opportunities, many were also forced to leave their home due to repeated droughts over the past 30 years and conflicts in the region.
The population increase created new extensions at the outskirts of Djibouti. More than one third of the capital city’s population today lives in 13 rapidly growing slums. The expansion of these urban areas has mostly happened in an uncontrolled manner, making service provision challenging for authorities.
In the targeted area, the project will support social infrastructure to relieve densely populated areas and facilitate public transportation, emergency assistance and the movement of people and goods. It will enable the government to develop an integrated urban development and slum prevention program. The strategy will enable sectoral ministries, such as health and education, to strategically position health centers and schools, based on population’s demand, instead of land availability.
The World Bank’s portfolio in Djibouti consists of eleven IDA-funded projects totaling US$ 150 million. The portfolio is focused on social safety nets, energy, rural community development, urban poverty reduction, health, education, modernization of public administration, governance and private sector development, with emphasis on women and youth.