The World Bank has approved an additional $245 million to improve the equity, efficiency and transparency of major safety net programmes in Bangladesh.
The financing to the ongoing Safety Net Systems for the poorest project will benefit nine million poorest households, said a World Bank release on Monday.
The World Bank’s financing will help improve performance of some largest safety net programmes, which are implemented by the Department of Disaster Management, reports UNB.
“In FY 2017, Bangladesh spent around $3.5 billion on social protection, which is about 1.4 percent of its Gross Domestic Product,” said Rajashree Paralkar, Operations Manager (for Bangladesh) of the World Bank.
“By effectively identifying poor households and administering the safety net programs, the government will continue to reduce poverty and ensure effective use of public resources.”
The financing will support the Department of Disaster Management to roll out a management information system to administer beneficiary records and programme processes, as well as expand digital payment to beneficiaries with greater efficiency and transparency.
It will also support the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics to complete the country’s first universal poverty registry–the National Household Database–which will be integrated with external information systems, allowing various ministries and agencies to use its data for more equitable beneficiary selection.
With the additional financing, the World Bank’s total commitment to the Project stands at $745 million. The project will close on June 30, 2019.
The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm. The credits are interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, and carry a service charge of 0.75 percent.