WB to give $300 million for Covid-19 resilience of Bangladesh’s urban institutions
The government and the World Bank today signed a $300 million financing agreement to help Bangladesh strengthen its local urban institutions to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and improve preparedness for future shocks.
The Local Government Covid-19 Response and Recovery Project will benefit 39.9 million urban residents in all eight divisions, the World Bank said in a statement today.
It will help Bangladesh's cities and towns to recover from the pandemic and prepare for future shocks, including climate change, disasters, and disease outbreaks.
In addition, 329 municipalities and 10 city corporations will receive funds bi-annually from the project to improve critical urban services and infrastructures to mitigate and respond to climate change impacts, disasters, and future disease outbreaks.
"Bangladesh is rapidly urbanising. With around 36 per cent of the population living in urban areas the city corporations and the municipalities can play a critical role in helping the urban poor recover from the pandemic as well as prepare to handle future shocks" said Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. "This project will help local government institutions take the right measures to move toward climate-smart urbanisation and prepare for resilience in future shocks."
The project will carry out labour-intensive public works that in one hand will ensure water supply and sanitation, drainage, and other critical services benefitting the low-income areas, slums, and areas exposed to high disease outbreak and disaster risks and in other hand create jobs for the poor urban people.
It will create 1.5 million days of short-term work as well as jobs for 10,000 women under the public works scheme.
"With quick and proactive measures, Bangladesh government will be able to address impact of the Covid-19 pandemic," said Sharifa Khan, secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD).
"The project will further support to ensure that the urban areas remain prepared to any future shock while benefitting the urban poor through job creation, better services and infrastructure."
The ERD secretary signed the agreement with the World Bank's country director.
The credit is from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), which provides concessional financing, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.
Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA programme totaling $14.7 billion.
The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh and has committed more than $38 billion in grants, interest-free and concessional credits to the country since its independence.