WB will provide $1bn to Bangladesh for three projects
DHAKA, Dec 17, 2014 Nirapad News : The World Bank (WB) will provide approximately US$ 1.1 billion for three projects in Bangladesh.
The projects would benefit almost 36 million people through improving quality of primary education, building coastal communities’ resilience to natural disaster, and increasing the nutrition and cognitive development of children from the poorest households.
The projects approved by the WB’s Board of Executive Directors are US$ 400 million in additional financing for the 3rd Primary Education Development Programme, US$ 375 million for the Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project, and US$ 300 million for the Income Support Programme for the Poorest Project, said a WB press released today.
“These three projects weave a strong story of complementarily in the World Bank’s efforts to create opportunities for the poor by using cash transfers for mothers to promote better nutrition at home, helping children take advantage of pre-primary education under the primary education programme and providing school infrastructure in vulnerable coastal zones,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh.
“Directly and indirectly, these operations will help ensure that even the poorest children in Bangladesh can achieve their full potential,” he added.
The additional financing for the ongoing US$ 300 3rd Primary Education Development Programe (PEDP3) would continue to improve the primary education sector by increasing net enrollment to 98 per cent and the primary completion rate to 80 per cent.
The project would also continue efforts to ensure merit-based teacher recruitment and fill in vacant school positions. The project will ensure textbook delivery to 90 per cent of the schools within the first month of the school year.
“The additional financing for the Government-led program will contribute to bring 19 million Bangladeshi primary school age children to school, provide them quality learning, and ensure they complete the primary school cycle,” said Ayesha Vawda, World Bank Task team Leader for PEDP3.
The Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP) aims to make the coastal population less vulnerable to natural disasters. The project will construct 552 new multipurpose disaster shelters, improve 450 existing shelters, and build connecting roads and communication networks for easy accessibility in 9 coastal districts.
“The project will benefit 14 million people among the coastal population living in the front line of climate change,” said Anna C O’Donnell, World Bank Task Team Leader for MDSP.
Despite Bangladesh’s remarkable record in reducing poverty over the last three decades, the presence of high numbers of extremely poor people poses a daunting development challenge. The Income Support Programme for the Poorest (ISPP) project will benefit 10 per cent of the extremely poor population, or 2.7 million people in 42 of the poorest upazilas in the country.
The project will provide income support to about 6,00,000 poorest mothers in exchange for participating in activities aimed at improving their children’s nutrition and cognitive development.
Monthly cash transfers will be electronically disbursed into these mothers’ post office accounts using smart cash cards.
“Ensuring adequate nutrition prenatally and in the first 2 years of life helps to maximize a child’s brain development and health. Helping a child’s growth and cognitive development in the initial 5 years is critical to boost the earnings capacity in the later years of life and to prevent the transmission of poverty across generations”, said Iffath Sharif, World Bank Task Team Leader, ISPP.
The credits are from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm, have 38 years to maturity with a 6-year grace period and carry a service charge of 0.75 percent.