DAR ES SALAAM, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank has pledged to continue supporting Tanzania's poverty reduction initiatives under the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), the bank's senior official said on Friday.
Anne Kabagambe, the World Bank's Executive Director for Africa Group, pledged the support after she had visited implementation of the first and second phases of TASAF at Keko in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
A statement by the Ministry of Finance and Planning said Kabagambe was impressed to see women supported by TASAF, a program being financed by the World Bank, making high quality goods including leather shoes, baskets, beads, pots and decorations.
"After I have witnessed the impressive work being done by women to pull themselves out of the poverty trap I will appeal to the World Bank in Washington to continue supporting implementation of phase three of the program," the statement quoted Kabagambe as saying.
Uwessu Misanga, an executive officer for Keko Machungwa area, said between Feb. 2015 and Feb. 2019, TASAF released 86.1 million Tanzanian shillings (about 37,461 U.S. dollars) to assist poor families.
Misanga said the money was spent on buying food, boosting primary school attendance and enabling women to send children aged below five years to clinic.
TASAF was initiated in 2000 by the government of Tanzania as one of its initiatives on poverty reduction.
The program is aimed at empowering poor households graduate out of poverty and gain sustainable social and economic development.
On Wednesday, Kabagambe said the World Bank was ready to release loans to Tanzania to the tune of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars that the bank had withheld, a senior official with the bank said on Wednesday.
"I have come to inform the minister (of Finance and Planning) that the World Bank is back actively in business with the Republic of Tanzania," said Kabagambe.
Kabagambe announced the World Bank's commitment to assisting Tanzania during talks with Philip Mpango, the Minister for Finance and Planning.
Kabagambe said the money will be used for funding implementation of education, health, urban development and economic inclusion in Zanzibar. She said the money will be released starting July 2020.