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World Bank backs China’s urban rail, flood protection projects

Updated: Dec 24,2014 5:26 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The World Bank Group (WBG) on Dec 24 announced that its Board of Executive Directors has approved two loans totaling $350 million to support urban rail development and flood prevention projects in China.

The Zhengzhou Urban Rail Project in central China’s Henan province, financed with an International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of $250 million, will support construction of the Urban Rail Line 3, which will connect the city center of Zhengzhou with its northwest and southeast development areas.

It will directly benefit more than 900,000 people who live or work in the areas along the rail line by providing a faster, safer, more reliable and affordable transit option with lower impact on the environment. This is the third urban rail project that the WBG has supported in China, after the Kunming Urban Rail Project and Nanchang Urban Rail Project.

“The project will ensure good access to rail stations by public transit, biking and walking. It will also emphasize better integration of land use planning and urban transport,” said Gerald Ollivier, WBG’s Senior Transport Specialist.

The Small Towns Water Environment Project in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, financed with an IBRD loan of $100 million, will address flood risks and water pollution in four counties. The project, which is expected to benefit about 500,000 people, is part of the municipality’s urban-rural integration investment.

“The project will serve as a pilot to demonstrate innovative and practical approaches for water-related infrastructure investment in small cities and towns, which can be applied in other counties in Chongqing and similar small towns in China,” said You Ji, WBG’s Urban Specialist.

Established in 1944, the IBRD, the original institution of the WBG, is one of the key agencies under the group. It aims to reduce poverty in low- and middle-income countries by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services.

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