World Bank Approves $700M for Basic Services and Resilience in Bangladesh

Seck emphasized the need for long-term planning and sustainable solutions, alongside addressing urgent needs, as the crisis enters its seventh year.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 29-05-2024 12:48 IST | Created: 29-05-2024 12:48 IST
World Bank Approves $700M for Basic Services and Resilience in Bangladesh
The ISO Project will build on existing investments in livelihoods and essential services, benefiting at least 980,000 people in both the Rohingya and host communities. Image Credit:

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved two projects totaling $700 million to provide essential services and enhance disaster and social resilience for both the host communities and displaced Rohingya population in Bangladesh. Since 2017, nearly one million Rohingya have fled violence in Myanmar to Bangladesh, creating one of the largest forced displacement crises globally.

Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, commended the Government of Bangladesh for its support to the Rohingya and recognized the significant pressure on host communities. Seck emphasized the need for long-term planning and sustainable solutions, alongside addressing urgent needs, as the crisis enters its seventh year.

The two projects, namely the $350 million Inclusive Services and Opportunities for Host Community and Displaced Rohingya Population Project (ISO) and the $350 million Host and Rohingya Enhancement of Lives Project (HELP), aim to support both the Rohingya and host communities. These initiatives will be financed through grants under the IDA20 Window for Host Communities and Refugees.

Inclusive Services and Opportunities for Host Community and Displaced Rohingya Population (ISO) Project

The ISO Project will build on existing investments in livelihoods and essential services, benefiting at least 980,000 people in both the Rohingya and host communities. The project prioritizes human capital development, including education for 300,000 Rohingya children under 12, and provides services in health, nutrition, family planning, and gender-based violence prevention and response.

S. Amer Ahmed, World Bank Task Team Leader for the ISO Project, highlighted that the project focuses on supporting vulnerable households through temporary work, training, education, child protection, and primary healthcare.

Host and Rohingya Enhancement of Lives Project (HELP)

The HELP Project aims to improve access to basic services and enhance resilience for at least 645,000 people. It includes investments in water, sanitation, hygiene, climate-resilient infrastructure, renewable energy, and disaster shelters. The project will also focus on skills building for infrastructure maintenance and longer-term skills development.

Swarna Kazi, World Bank Task Team Leader for HELP, emphasized the critical need for disaster and climate resilience due to the protracted nature of the crisis. The project aims to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure and ensure its sustainability.

Focus on Vulnerable Groups

Recognizing the differentiated impact of the crisis, the projects include specific activities for women, children, and other vulnerable groups. These activities encompass gender-based violence prevention, gender-sensitive sanitation and hygiene facilities, solar streetlights for safety, and community-based disaster risk management training for women.

World Bank's Continued Support

The new projects build on the World Bank’s previous support of $590 million since the onset of the crisis. These efforts have focused on disaster preparedness, basic infrastructure, social protection, collaborative forest management, and income generation opportunities for host communities.

Since Bangladesh's independence, the World Bank has committed over $40 billion in grants and interest-free credits to the country, making it one of the largest recipients of the World Bank’s interest-free credits in recent years.

 
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