As per World Bank statistics, of the 2.4 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation globally, more than 750 million live in India, with 80 percent living in rural areas.

More than 500 million of the rural population in India continue to defecate in the open, suffering from preventable deaths, illness, stunting, harassment and economic losses.

"One in every ten deaths in India is linked to poor sanitation. And studies show that low-income households bear the maximum brunt of poor sanitation," said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for India.

"Incentivising good performance by states and the focus on behavioural changes are two important components of this project," Ruhl said.

The Bank said the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) will play the overseeing and coordinating role for the programme and support the participating states.

The World Bank will also provide a parallel USD 25 million technical assistance to build the capacity of select state governments in implementing community-led behavioural change programmes targeting social norms to help ensure widespread usage of toilets by rural households.

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