Dhaka: The Bangladeshi government and the World Bank have inked a loan agreement worth over $1 billion to help the country achieve resilient and inclusive growth by improving early childhood development, secondary education, riverbank protection and navigability, urban primary health, and gas distribution efficiency.
The agreement comprising five projects was signed in Dhaka on Thursday by Sharifa Khan, Senior Secretary of Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division, and Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, Xinhua news agency reported.
Among the projects was the Bangladesh Enhancing Investments and Benefits for Early Years Project which will help improve early childhood development by providing cash transfers and counseling services to about 1.7 million pregnant women and mothers of children under four in vulnerable households.
The Learning Acceleration in Secondary Education Operation Project will help strengthen secondary education by improving learning outcomes and teaching quality, said the Washington-based lender.
It said the Jamuna River Sustainable Management Project 1 and Urban Health, Nutrition and Population Project will improve primary healthcare services for treatment, prevention and referral for common illnesses including mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and help improve riverbank protection and navigability in the Jamuna River, protecting about 2,500 hectares of land from riverbank erosion and flooding.
Apart from this, the bank said the Gas Sector Efficiency Improvement and Carbon Abatement Project will help improve the efficiency of gas distribution and end-use through pre-paid metering systems and reduce methane emissions along the natural gas value chain.
“Bangladesh and the World Bank have a strong partnership focused on achieving the country’s vision of upper-middle-income status by 2031 and higher income status by 2041,” said Khan.
Seck said, “Bangladesh is an important partner for the World Bank toward its vision of a world free of poverty on a livable planet. Since the country’s independence, the World Bank and Bangladesh have had an impactful partnership that lifted millions of Bangladeshi people out of poverty.”