Deputy Governor of the World Bank for Middle East/North Africa Christian G. Portman currently visiting Iran told IRNA here Sunday that the loans are being extended to help government implement two projects.
"One project concerns improvement of the housing conditions for low-and-medium income groups in urban areas. The other project aims to provide wider public access to safe water and health services in the cities of Shiraz and Ahvaz in southern Iran," he added.
The related agreement was signed by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Safdar Hosseini and Portman.
Portman said that the 279-million-dollar loan for providing health services and safe water will be allocated to the primary phase of the government's long-term development plans for expanding water and sewage facilities in Shiraz and Ahvaz up to 2027.
According to him, the loan should be reimbursed in 17 years with a five-year grace period.
Turning to the fact that around 96 percent of Iran's urban population have access to safe water, he noted that only 16 percent of the national population are connected to the sewage system and just a portion of the collected waste waters are treated.
Turning to the growing pace of the nationwide urban development in the past decade, he attributed it the construction of residences on the cities outskirts.
"The World Bank is currently involved in four national projects on health care and nutrition, Tehran sewage system, administration of environment and speedy reconstruction of damages caused by earthquakes," he concluded.
... Payvand News - 7/18/04 ... --