Kate Holt/UNICEF via AP
Washington - The World Bank has committed $57 billion (R722.10 billion) to development projects in sub-Saharan Africa in the next three fiscal years, said a press release from the Bretton Woods Institution on Monday.

Jim Yong Kim, World Bank group president, said the funds will support implementation of projects that transform the livelihoods of communities in the world’s second largest continent.

Kim, who is currently on a trip to Rwanda and Tanzania to emphasise the World Bank’s support for the entire region, including Kenya, said the bulk of the financing ($45 billion) will come from the International Development Association (IDA), the lender’ special fund for the poorest nations.

He said the funds will cover health, education, and infrastructure projects such as expanding water distribution and access to power.

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Kim indicated that while much of the estimated $45 billion in IDA financing will be dedicated to country-specific programmes, significant amounts will be available through special “windows” to finance regional initiatives and transformative projects, support refugees and their host communities, and help countries in the aftermath of crises.

“This represents an unprecedented opportunity to change the development trajectory of the countries in the region,” Kim added. Expected IDA outcomes include essential health and nutrition services for up to 400 million people, access to improved water sources for up to 45 million, and 5 gigawatts of additional generation capacity for renewable energy.

The scaled-up IDA financing will build on a portfolio of 448 ongoing projects in Africa totalling about $50 billion. Of this, a $1.6 billion financing package is being developed to tackle the imminent famine threat in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.