The World Bank has sanctioned a loan of $1.5 billion in support of the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ initiative, India’s largest cleanliness drive. which is also an ambitious initiative of the Indian PM. The World Bank funds will further be transferred by the Central government to the states, which will help achieve faster results through performance-based incentives.
This movement aspires to end open defecation within a period of five years. The release of funds by the World Bank will be based on the progress and the successful implementation. Importantly, over 500 million of the rural population in India continues to defecate in the open, suffering from preventable deaths, illness, stunting, harassment and economic losses. As per World Bank statistics, of approximately 2.4 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation globally, over 750 million live in India, with 80% of them living in rural areas.
Inspections will be carried out yearly by the third parties to monitor the implementation of the sanitation services in the rural areas. A States’ performance will be measured in accordance with its ability to decrease open defecation, improve the solid and liquid waste management and sustain its open defecation free status.
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) will play the overseeing and coordinating role for the programme and support the participating MDWS in the program management, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation.