The World Bank has approved a credit of $63 million from the International Development Association (IDA) to Bihar, designed to enhance social and economic empowerment of rural poor people in the state.
The Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project, named 'JEEVIKA' (livelihood), aims to improve rural livelihoods of the poor in the State through 776 village Panchayats covering 4,000 villages in the districts of Nalanda, Gaya, Muzzafarpur, Madhubani, Khagaria, and Purnea.
The project is expected to directly benefit about 2.9 million people belonging to 590,000 households.
Bihar is a predominantly rural state with 89 per cent of the population living in rural areas. Around 44 per cent of the rural population is poor, one of the highest ratio in India.
Poverty is heavily concentrated among the landless or near landless agricultural households, which accounts for 70 per cent of the households in the state.
Disparities are also evident along gender and caste lines, with Scheduled Castes accounting for one-fourth of Bihar's landless poor.