Ambon (ANTARA News) - A World Bank team is to observe conditions in three coastal villages in Ambon city to decide whether they are ready to receive empowerment assistance from IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), an official said.

According to the head of the Ambon Fisheries and Maritime Office, Piet Sampina, here Thursday the World Bank team would arrive in Ambon on January 8, 2012. It would observe conditions in the villages of Latuhalat in Nusaniwe district, Hutumury in South Leitimur district and Laha in Teluk Ambon district.

IFAD is a world body providing funds for agricultural development in a number of developing countries.

"The World Bank team is scheduled to meet with Ambon Mayor Richard Louhenapessy to discuss the readiness of the three villages to receive long-term empowerment assistance," he said.

Initially, nine villages had been proposed to receive the aid, but after further verification, only three coastal villages were considered eligible.

The coastal community empowerment program funded by IFAD will cover a period of five years starting in January 2012, and each village will receive Rp2.5 billion in empowerment funds.

The program aims to reduce poverty and increase sustainable economic growth in coastal communities and small islands, and increase household income of coastal communities, especially in the marine and fisheries sectors.

IFAD assistance programs are only implemented in 12 districts or cities with a poverty rate of over 20 percent in Indonesia, including Ambon.

The program also includes provision of venture capital, building stalls for selling fishing equipment, fuel stations, walkways and fishermen`s housing development.

"We are proactively providing the required data related to the program, land availability, poverty-level data, fishing activities and the number of families of the fishermen," he said.

To ensure the program`s success, Mayor Richard Louhenapessy would directly disseminate information relating to the program among the people of the three villages that would receive the assistance.

By 2016, the program was expected to reach 15 coastal villages in three Ambon districts, he said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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