The World Bank, EU and China, in a first-ever cooperative
effort, have announced a loan and financial aid program to curb
environmental degradation in China's central and southwestern
provinces. The US$200-million program was launched on Wednesday in
A total of 37 counties in
Guizhou, Hubei and Chongqing, drainage areas of China's longest
river, the Yangtze, and the Pearl River, are expected to benefit
from the US$200-million program, according to Zhai Haohui, Vice
Minister of Water Resources.
Zhai said half of the fund money is provided by the World Bank
in the form of a loan to the beneficiary areas, while the other
half comprises grant-in-aid from the EU, and an investment by the
The program, to run for six years, will focus on water and soil
About 3.56 million square kilometers of China's territory, or 37
percent of its total area, is affected by erosion.
(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2006)