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World Bank Approves Billion Dollar Loan for Indian Toilets

FILE - An open toilet is seen in a field in Gorba in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh, India, Nov. 16, 2015.

The World Bank has approved a $1.5 billion loan to support an Indian government program to improve sanitation by 2019.

The Clean India Mission "aims to end open defecation, achieve open defecation free communities, and improve the management of liquid and solid waste" by providing toilets to rural areas.

"In rural India, three out of five people suffer the indignity of defecating in the open," the World Bank said in a statement Wednesday. "Girls and women have to venture out before dawn or after dark leaving them vulnerable to harassment."

The project "will result in significant health benefits for the poor and vulnerable, especially those living in rural areas,” said Ohno Ruhl, World Bank country director for India.

The funds will also be used to support India's Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

The World Bank says one in every 10 deaths in India is linked to poor sanitation.