Washington: The World Bank has approved USD 1 billion credit for National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP), which it said is aimed at strengthening the implementation of the newly launched National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).

NRLM is one of the world's largest poverty reduction initiative of approximately USD 7.7 billion, aiming to reach 350 million people or almost a quarter of India’s population.

It would help NRLM create an institutional platform by mobilising rural poor, particularly women, into robust grassroot institutions of their own where, with the strength of the group behind them, they will be able to exert voice and accountability over providers of educational, health, nutritional and financial services.

This, based on past experience in several Indian states, is expected to have a transformational social impact, supporting India's efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on Nutrition, Gender, and Poverty, the World Bank said in a press statement.

"The success of NRLM, which is expected to serve as a backbone for pulling together all other poverty reduction efforts under one umbrella, will help India move closer to some of the key MDGs in the near future," said Venu Rajamony, Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Union Finance Ministry.

The World Bank said the National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP), approved on Tuesday, would help the program scale up the successes of past livelihoods initiatives to other lagging regions of the country.