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WB approves $15m loan for quality statistics

FE Report | March 24, 2018 00:00:00

The World Bank (WB) has approved a $15 million loan to help Bangladesh produce timely and quality statistics.

"This will help the country make more evidence-based policy decisions," the WB said in a statement, issued from Washington on Thursday.

The National Strategy for Development of Statistics Implementation Support Project will improve the capacity of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) to produce and disseminate quality statistics in a timely manner.

"Quality statistics are necessary for development and poverty reduction efforts. They provide evidence for policy decisions. Timely, reliable, and publicly available statistics are central to understand needs, plan resource allocation, and monitor development progress," said Rajashree Paralkar, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh.

"For the last decade, the World Bank has been supporting Bangladesh strengthen its statistical capacity. In recent years, the country made important strides including producing quarterly poverty and labour data."

In 2013, Bangladesh approved the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) and Statistics Act.

The project will help implement key elements of the strategy.

It will enhance coverage and improve collection and quality of data for core statistics, including, national accounts and statistics on price, labour, industry, social sectors, and agriculture. Where applicable, it will also produce gender-disaggregated data, according to the WB.

"The project will help create an enabling environment to improve core statistics as per international standards," said Maria Eugenia Genoni, Task Team Leader, World Bank.

"For this, the project will ensure effective coordination and management of statistical activities and impart sustainable training for human resource development."

The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the WB's concessional lending arm. The credit is interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a six-year grace period, and carries a service charge of 0.75 per cent.

The WB was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh following its independence. Since then the WB has committed close to $27 billion interest-free credits to Bangladesh.

In recent years, Bangladesh has been among the largest recipients of the WB's interest-free credit.

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