The World Bank, government of India, and the Bihar government on Monday signed an agreement for $100 million (₹5.55 Billion) in additional funds for the ongoing development of rural development programme Jeevika.

Initiated by the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project (BRLP), the programme is aimed at improving the livelihood of rural communities across the state of Bihar. 

The agreement was signed in New Delhi by Venu Rajamony, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Rameshwar Singh, Principal Secretary of the Department of Finance, Arvind Kumar Chaudhary, CEO of BRLP, and Mandakini Kaul, Senior Country Officer of the World Bank India.

The additional financing, which is provided by the World Bank's concessionary lending arm - the International Development Association (IDA), will help consolidate and expand the Project to cover all the blocks in the existing six districts covered under the Project. The funds will also help provide a comprehensive district wide model for poverty alleviation in Bihar, the Ministry of Finance said in a press release.

"The additional funds will directly benefit 1.5 million households. It will further help in consolidating some of the key activities of the Jeevika project under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission," Times of India reported Rajamony as saying.

Until now, the programme has mobilized 515,000 poor women into 46,000 self-help groups and 3,500 village organizations. Over 90 percent of these women are said to belong to vulnerable groups such as scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward castes.

The project will now focus towards consolidation and increased investments in various sectors such as agriculture, dairy, job creation for migrant youth and nonfarm sector employment.

The focus will now be on consolidating and increasing investments in different livelihoods sectors such as agriculture, dairy, job creation for migrant youth as well as in the non-farm field.  

(1 INR = approx. USD 55.73)