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Bangladesh to receive $900 mn World Bank financing for sustainable growth

Dhaka, June 22: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved two projects totalling $900 million to help Bangladesh strengthen fiscal and financial sector policies and improve urban infrastructure and management to ensure sustainable and climate-resilient growth. “Decisive reforms will help Bangladesh sustain growth and strengthen resilience to climate change and other shocks,” Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, was quoted as saying in a statement received on Saturday.

“These new financing operations will help Bangladesh in two critical areas — the financial sector and urban management — to achieve its vision of upper-middle-income status,” he added. The Second Recovery and Resilience Development Policy Credit ($500 million) — the last in a series of two credits — supports fiscal and financial sector reforms to accelerate sustainable growth and build resilience to future shocks, including climate change, reported Xinhua news agency.

“A well-functioning financial sector is critical for Bangladesh to increase investment and improve access to finance for those left out of formal banking systems,” said Bernard Haven, World Bank Senior Economist and Task Team Leader for the program. The Resilient Urban and Territorial Development Project ($400 million) will help improve climate-resilient and gender-responsive urban infrastructure and urban management capacities in seven city clusters along the economic corridor covering over 950 km of the highway from Cox Bazaar in the south to Panchagarh in the north of Bangladesh.

“This will be the first in a series of projects helping build resilience to climate change and create new opportunities and jobs in secondary cities through spatially targeted investments,” said Kwabena Amankwah-Ayeh, World Bank Senior Urban Development Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project. “Developing secondary cities as growth hubs will be critical for the country’s sustainable growth.”

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