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Georgia: IDA Loan To Aid Decentralization

Washington, 17 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - The International Development Association (IDA) has approved a $20.9 million loan to Georgia to help decentralize government functions and strengthen local units by improving their organization, management and financial base.

IDA, the concessional lending arm of the World Bank for the poorest countries, says the bulk of the loan will finance municipal investments including roads, drainage, lighting, water supply, clinics, schools, and revenue generating facilities such as markets and bus stations.

The rest will be used to speed up the decentralization process and stimulate the capacity of local governments to efficiently program, finance and manage facilities and deliver public services. IDA says the program should increase community participation in local government and help raise living standards generally.

IDA loans carry no interest charges and are repayable over 35 years with a 10 year grace period on repayments.