A World Bank official heresaid in Kerman on Sunday that the bank is ready to fund Kerman cultural heritage projects, IRNA reported.
World Bank's Advisor for Planning and Development Brit Zy said that the old historical and cultural sites throughout the province can use facilities to transform them into guest houses, tourist sites and workshops for producing local handicrafts.
In a meeting with Kerman's Deputy Governor General Mohammad Farshad, she added the World Bank welcomes greater investments in tourism in the province which plan to attract up to one million tourist by the year 2006-2007.
The bank has extended an appropriate credit to Iran to this end, she said adding Kerman province given its extensive cultural and historical attractions, could be a viable candidate for using a portion of the credit facilities.
Farshad added that the province is ready to cooperate with the bank in this matter.
In addition to aforementioned project, the World Bank has offered other types of funding to Iran for various development-related work. Earlier in July, a four-member World Bank delegation visited several areas in the southwestern Khuzestan province.
The delegation was headed by the World Bank Deputy Director for Middle East, and North Africa Basem Ramezan.
The Iranian co-chairman of the delegation Asghar Mohajeri, in a meeting with provincial officials, said the aim of the visit is to assess the feasibility of setting up small development projects, including health and vocational projects throughout the country. He said World Bank aims to reduce poverty among the lower income population locally and strive to create a self-sustaining development through establishing a local fund initially in four provinces of Tehran, Khuzestan, Hamedan and Khorassan.
If the five-year pilot projects met its objectives, 'then these projects will be extended in other parts of the country'. The World Bank has granted Iran a dlrs 150 million long-term loan for this purpose with low interest rate and repayment period of 21 years.
He said Iran's share of the project is dlrs 50 million, stressing the projects will be implemented in the deprived-regions with participation of the people, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local councils and other similar institutions.
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