2 July 2008 — The World Bank has approved US$17.5 million financing for Eritrea’s rural electrification programme.

The Board approved the US$17.5 million grant financing for Eritrea’s Power Distribution and Rural Electrification project.  The project was approved within the context of Eritrea’s Interim Strategy Note (ISN).  The ISN represents coordinated efforts of the World Bank Group’s arms—the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

The financing for the Power Distribution and Rural Electrification project is part of broad-based support for economic growth through rehabilitation of both the electricity distribution network and generation plants. The Bank has been supporting the development of the power sector in Eritrea through a credit and grant of US$50 million approved in June 2004. The key components of this project include rehabilitation and expansion of electricity distribution system in Asmara, Eritrea’s capital, rural electrification in four areas of the country, and a program for power sector reform and the building of related institutional capacity to increase efficiency in electricity sector operations.