Burundi: World Bank to finance the [Insignificant] NKURIZA
On Friday 20th September 2019, the World Bank forwarded an advance to start the Nkuriza or the Advance Agreement for Preparation of Proposed Investing in Early Years and Fertility Project Project Preparation Advance No. V2270-BI. The letter of the advance was sent to Minister of Finance, Budget and Development Planning Domitien Ndihokubwayo.
Clearly, the World Bank has been planning this project with the authorities for over a long time. Where they want to help the people of Burundi and the get the fertility rate down. Also, secure the food and nutrition in the 6 provinces of the Republic. What is also striking, the minimal advance of $350,000 USD is going to see the progress of the project and the International Development Association (IDA) going to later give a grant of $30m USD.
The World Bank knows how this regime is going about. So the WB is dropping funds and granting funds to them, as they are going into elections and having a project, which isn’t that viable. The idea and the possible plans of is ideal, but the own documentation proves that they don’t believe it themselves.
Expectation from the World Bank:
“This overall project is classified as a category “B” given that activities are not expected to produce any large-scale, significant, and/or irreversible impacts” (World Bank, 30.08.2019).
Where and what:
“The main project beneficiaries will consist of children under-two and women of reproductive age in 6 provinces (Bubanza, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Kirundo, Makamba and Muyinga) to reach them in the critical 1,000day window of opportunity, as most cognitive and physical development occur between conception and two years of age. Interventions related to FP will focus on both women of reproductive age and men. Other beneficiaries will include adolescent girls to reach women early and to improve their health and nutrition status prior to entering their reproductive health years. The poorest households will benefit from improvements in access to water, hygiene, sanitation and small-scale agriculture interventions” (World Bank, 30.08.2019).
What it will do:
“(a) Carry out a program of technical assistance to: (i) develop Project related safeguards
instruments; (ii) study the determinants of chronic malnutrition and high fertility in project areas; (iii) develop a food composition database; (iv) undertake institutional and capacity building needs
assessments; and (v) prepare a Project implementation manual.
(b) Workshops between religious leaders and the Ministry of Health and Fight against HIV/AIDS” (World Bank, 20.09.2019).
So, its not that expect anything out of it. The project itself is positive and the needs for it surely there. However, I get automatically sceptical, when the organization donating to it, doesn’t think it will give any results. That is why you can wonder, why does the IDA grant possibly these funds and why will the WB give an advance in the first place?
Shouldn’t the same organization give funds to other projects, which is classified in another bracket, where they actually think it will have effect and get results. I understand, also that this sort of projects is hard to establish the possible results or the change in society. However, if they believe in this sort of activity. I would be as sceptical anywhere, because this seems like they are testing out something random and hoping they are able to make a difference.
In addition, they will be lucky if that happens. Since, they are not anticipating this to be the remedy. So, in one way it giving money down a wishing well, hoping someone see their prayer. Peace.