Hartwig Schafer, vice president of World Bank for the South Asian Region, arrives in Dhaka this afternoon on a week-long visit to further deepen the longstanding partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank Group.
During his first visit to Bangladesh since assuming his position on July 1, 2018, Schafer will also discuss how to help the country cope with the Rohingya crisis.
“Bangladesh has a remarkable story of cutting extreme poverty to half in record time. Other countries can learn from its many development innovations and successes. I look forward to meet our partners and see firsthand the country’s journey to economic growth,” Schafer said prior to his visit to Bangladesh.
“Despite its own challenges, Bangladesh has shown great generosity by sheltering nearly one million Rohingya people. The World Bank is working closely with the government to help address the needs of Rohingya until their safe return to Myanmar and help build the country’s capacity to deal with the crisis,” he added.
Schafer plans to visit the Rohingya refugee camps and meet with local government officials and representatives from civil society and non-governmental organisations during a visit to Cox’s Bazar.
The World Bank has mobilized up to US$400 million grant terms to help Bangladesh deal with the crisis. It has also approved one of two operations–adding about US$75 million in grant– to provide health services and education to the Rohingyas, many of whom are children, youth or women.
Schafer is also scheduled to meet with senior government officials, including the Finance Minister and the Water Resources Minister, as well as the private sector and civil society leaders.
He will also take part in the launch of a new World Bank report titled “South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards” and also visit the World Bank supported project, which is upgrading a unit in the Ghorashal power station to more than double the unit’s electricity generation capacity.
Before joining the South Asian Region, Schafer served as the Vice President for Global Themes and as Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services. He led several key reforms, including the rollout of the World Bank’s new policies on procurement, environmental and social safeguards and innovation of the Bank’s lending and knowledge instruments.
Previously, Schafer also served as World Bank’s Country Director for Djibouti, Egypt and Yemen.