Pro-poor program gets additional funding from World Bank

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2010 05:04 PM | Updated as of Oct 02 2010 01:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The World Bank has approved $59.1 million in additional financing to expand a government program for the poor.

The money will go to the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) project to expand its reach to a total of 220 municipalities that have a poverty incidence of 50% or greater.

KALAHI-CIDSS, a project under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), empowers local communities in targeted poor areas to achieve improved access to basic public services and to participate in more inclusive local planning and budgeting.

The original KALAHI-CIDSS project that started in 2002 has already benefitted 1.1 million households in 4,229 villages, covering 184 municipalities in the country's 42 poorest provinces.

It has financed 5,326 community sub-projects for basic social services facilities, roads and small bridges, and environmental and disaster control infrastructure.

Using a community-driven development (CDD) approach, the KALAHI-CIDSS helps poor communities develop the necessary skills and provides them with resources to select, implement, and sustain small-scale community infrastructure projects and social services.

The additional financing supports 2 enhanced implementation modalities, including an LGU-led CDD approach that supports a more devolved, cost-effective implementation and give responsibility and authority to municipalities over program implementation while retaining the DSWD's monitoring and oversight functions.

Also, the project included the piloting of the KALAHI-CIDSS in 8 selected urban poor communities, which would respond to their specific concerns, such as land tenure, housing, resettlement, livelihood, urban sanitation, and other environmental issues.

Bert Hofman, World Bank Country Director, said that the proposed activities in the additional financing are fully consistent with the bank's Country Assistance Strategy for 2010 to 2012.

"The project fully supports the overall objective of making growth work for the poor by improving the delivery of basic public services to poor areas, as well as enhancing transparency and accountability at the local level," he said.

The original financing was approved by World Bank in December 2002. Last year, the project's closing was extended for one year until May 2010 to provide sufficient time for the completion of activities. The additional financing will last until May 31, 2013.

"CDD approaches are an important part of World Bank support in the Philippines and are one of the most effective means of promoting the demand for better local governance," Hofman said.