The World Bank and the Government of Bangladesh today signed a $250 million financing agreement to help create more and better jobs; recover faster from the Covid-19 pandemic and build resilience to future crisis.
The agreement was signed by Fatima Yasmin, secretary, Economic Relations Division and Mercy Tembon, World Bank's country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, a World Bank statement said today.
With this program, total World Bank financing under the Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit series stands at $750 million. The credit is from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), which provides concessional financing and has a 30-year term including a five-year grace period, the statement said.
Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA program totalling over $14 billion. The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh and has committed more than $35 billion in grants, interest-free and concessional credits to the country since its independence.
The Third Programmatic Jobs Development Policy—the last in a series of three credits—focuses on key reforms to create quality and inclusive jobs, while supporting the government's response to the Covid-19 crisis. It supports policies to modernise the trade and investment regime; improve social protection for workers; and help youth, women, and vulnerable people access quality jobs, the statement added.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the poor and vulnerable population," said Mercy Tembon.
"This financing supports government policies to protect those most affected by the pandemic and create more and better jobs as Bangladesh continues its journey towards its vision of becoming an upper-middle-income country," she said.
The Jobs Development Policy Credit series has helped the government protect five million jobs, and enabled firms to continue paying their workers' wages. It also supported the migrant workers who have had to return to Bangladesh due to the pandemic. The program will also support informal micro-entrepreneurs in recovering by extending micro-finance facilities, said the statement.
"This program has helped protect the jobs and income of poor and vulnerable people while laying the groundwork for building resiliency to future shocks," said Fatima Yasmin.