The World Bank has endorsed an International Development Association (IDA) grant of $40 million in a bid to support the government of Benin in its efforts to increase poor communities’ access to basic social services and social safety nets.

The new Community and Local Government Basic Social Services Project (“Appui aux Communes et Communautés pour l’expansion des services sociaux – ACCESS”) will improve decentralized service delivery through grants given to communes for investments in education, health, rural roads, and market infrastructures. It will also promote the successful social safety nets pilot initiated under the Decentralized Community Driven Services project (DCDSP).

“While progress has been made in recent years to improve access to basic infrastructures and safety nets, Benin still faces large gaps in coverage, especially in the poorest and remote areas. The new project will help the government address these challenges more efficiently to enhance social well-being,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Benin.

The project also complements the Government’s Insurance for Reinforcing Human Capital initiative (“Assurance pour le Renforcement du Capital Humain — ARCH”) by funding the development of a national social registry identifying all poor and extremely poor households in Benin. The registry will be used to identify beneficiaries by both ARCH and ACCESS, as well as other programs.

ACCESS will be implemented following the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach and will continually empower communities to identify and implement their own development sub-projects.

It is in accordance with Benin’s Government Action Plan (PAG) adopted in December 2016, and with the new Country Partnership Framework 2018-2023 which was adopted by the World Bank Group on July 5, 2018.