World Bank has approved three loans totalling $562 million to fund an education project in Gujarat, a social protection programme in Tamil Nadu and a project to help recovery in the fisheries sector post the pandemic, the multilateral funding agency said on Thursday.
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved additional financing of $250 million for Outcomes for Accelerated Learning (GOAL), a programme which aims to improve education results for children across the state of Gujarat, it said in a release.
The financing towards GOAL will benefit an additional 3,000 schools that have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides, the board of executive directors of the World Bank approved a $150 million funding to support the recovery of India's fisheries sector and a $162 million for the RIGHTS project to strengthen the social protection systems and capability of Tamil Nadu to promote inclusion, accessibility, and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
In 2020-21, the fisheries sector saw losses of about $5.5 billion and fish production fell almost 40 per cent in one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said the multilateral funding agency.
GOAL project financing complements the original loan of $500 million, which was approved in March 2021. It is in line with the Bank's Rapid Response Framework that seeks to reach every child and retain them in schools, assess learning levels regularly, prioritize teaching the fundamentals and increase catch-up learning, World Bank said.
It also aims to develop psychosocial health for students and teachers.
"This additional financing will scale-up the coverage of the original programme from a total of 9,000 to 12,000 schools, while also supporting new efforts to test the efficacy of the program's interventions," said Shabnam Sinha, Lead Education Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project.
Under the $150 million loan to support the recovery of India's fisheries sector, World Bank said it currently employs about 12 million people directly and another 13 million through associated activities.