WB to provide $2.25b for five BD projects

Deals inked in Washington marking the celebration of 50 years of partnership

FE REPORT | Wednesday, 3 May 2023

The World Bank will provide Bangladesh with loans worth US$2.25 billion to finance the growth, regional connectivity, and disaster preparedness programmes.
The financing agreements were signed on five projects during the celebration of 50 years of 'strong partnership' between the World Bank (WB) and Bangladesh in Washington, USA, on Monday.
"Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and World Bank Group President David Malpass today (May 01) commemorated 50 years of partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank at the institution's headquarters," said a WB statement.
The partnership has helped lift millions of Bangladeshis out of poverty and supported the country's economic growth and development, it said.
Of the financing agreements, $753.45 million will be made available for Accelerating Transport and Trade Connectivity in Eastern South Asia (ACCESS) Programme Phase 1, aiming to help improve regional trade.
The WB will also provide $500 million worth of credit for Resilient Infrastructure for Adaptation and Vulnerability Reduction (RIVER) project, which will be the first major investment project to support the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.
The project aims to help improve disaster preparedness against inland flooding, said the statement.
Another $500 million worth of loan will be available under the First Green and Climate Resilient Development Credit, aiming to help Bangladesh's transition to green and climate-resilient development, it mentioned.
Besides, the WB will also provide $250 million for Sustainable Microenterprise and Resilient Transformation (SMART) and $250 million for Bangladesh Environmental Sustainability and Transformation (BEST) Project to support the micro-enterprises sector and strengthen environment management in Bangladesh respectively.
"In 1971, when Bangladesh was born, many development experts were skeptical about the country's future. The aspirations germinated by our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and, our people have shown the world that with determination, it is possible to overcome even the hardest challenges. Bangladesh has transformed its economy and made it more resilient as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic," said the statement, quoting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was on an official tour of the USA.
"The journey was not always easy, but we have never lost courage. In the past 50 years, the World Bank remained a steadfast development partner and supported our aspirations. We hope to work together with the World Bank as Bangladesh progresses to achieve higher-income country status by 2041," Sheikh Hasina said.
"Many countries can learn from Bangladesh's development successes. The country stands out for its innovative approaches to reducing poverty in record time, empowering women, achieving wide-spread electricity access, and adapting to climate change," he said.
Bangladesh Prime Minister and the WBG President inaugurated a multimedia photo exhibition depicting Bangladesh's development story over the past five decades and joined a seminar to reflect on 50 years of partnership, said the statement.
Bangladesh became a member of the World Bank Group in August 1972.
In November of the same year, the WB approved the first project for Bangladesh, a $50 million Emergency Recovery Credit to help the war-torn nation rebuild the transport and communication, agriculture, and industrial sectors, as well as provide support for the construction and power sector, according to the statement.

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