WB approves additional $200 million for Tanzania

New Financing to Increase Incomes and Opportunities for 6.6 Million among Tanzania’s Extreme Poor

WASHINGTON D.C., June 16, 2016 – Over 6.6 million citizens falling in the extreme poor and food-insecure category will have their livelihoods improved with fresh support from the World Bank towards ongoing social safety programs implemented by the Tanzania Social Action Fund.

The additional financing of $200 million that was approved yesterday by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors towards the Productive Social Safety Nets project under which TASAF is financed, will support the Government of Tanzania’s recent scaling up of conditional cash transfers as well as the increased participation of target beneficiaries in new programs involving labor-intensive public works and savings and investments.

During the first phase of PSSN (2012-2016), the project has successfully created and consolidated the infrastructure needed to support a well-targeted social safety net system and strengthened the capacity of TASAF which has successfully made 15 consecutive Conditional Cash Transfer payments on a timely and regular basis since it started. Most recently in December 2015, the Project attained remarkable progress in reaching a targeted 1.1 million households, or approximately 6.6 million people among the extreme poor 15 percent of Tanzania’s total population of 45 million.

“The approval of the additional financing for the Productive Social Safety Net will consolidate the transformational impact that this project is having on the poorest households in Tanzania. This support from IDA, along with that of DFID, Sida, USAID and the UN agencies, will provide much needed income and opportunities to the poorest 6.6 million Tanzanians and eventually eliminate extreme poverty in the country,” says Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia.

PSSN is part of a new generation of projects that the World Bank Group is implementing in the Africa region, targeting the extreme poor to create human capital to reduce poverty and inequality in the medium term.

The PSSN project has been under implementation since June 2012 with the goal of creating a comprehensive, efficient, well-targeted productive social safety net system for the poor and vulnerable among the Tanzanian population.

The implementation of its conditional cash transfer program is part of the Government’s efforts towards a more integrated approach of social service delivery. By investing simultaneously in the demand and supply of education, health and other services the program promotes basic education, maternal and infant health, and combat chronic malnutrition.

The additional financing by the World Bank’s International Development Association* (IDA) complements Tanzanian Government funds, as well as resources provided by development partners, including the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and will support the full expansion and consolidation of the social safety net system to contribute to the Government’s goal of reducing the incidence of extreme poverty.

“As household incomes and livelihoods improve, they have been able to increase their consumption of education and health services which are crucial for their eventual self-sustenance,” says Manuel Salazar, World Bank Lead Social Protection Specialist and Task Team Leader for the PSSN.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.