World Bank continues to support Turkish cities
The World Bank's board of executive directors approved on Thursday a $91.54 million loan for the sustainable cities project in Turkey, according to the bank's announcement.
"This is the second project in a series of projects under the program for sustainable cities, which aims to improve the economic, financial, environmental, and social sustainability of Turkish cities by enabling interested municipalities to access financing for their investments and to deliver improved services to their citizens," the bank said.
According to the statement, the first sustainable cities project valued at $132.7 million was approved on December 20, 2016.
"Today, more than 75 percent of Turkey's citizens live in cities, which have become strong drivers of economic growth," said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Turkey.
"Although urban access to services has expanded significantly in the past few decades to meet the needs of this population, it remains challenging both to ensure the quality of services and their long-term financial and environmental sustainability," Zutt said.
He said the World Bank Group has a "long-standing engagement" in Turkey's urban sector. "We are happy to continue helping Turkey's cities to expand and improve their service delivery through this second sustainable cities project."
According to the bank, the project will assist the Turkish resort cities of Antalya and Muğla through financing investments in infrastructure needed to meet service delivery requirements.
"The project thus supports the World Bank's objective under the maximizing finance for development approach through this public-private investment coordination platform," the bank said.
"The project is also consistent with the Turkish Government's 10th Development Plan (2014-2018), particularly its 'Livable Spaces/Sustainable Environment' pillar, which recognizes the challenges of rapid urbanization and maximizing its benefits for people and economy," it added.