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Govt signs deal for additional $245m with WB

Kalerkantho Online   

6 January, 2018 19:49 PM



Govt signs deal for additional $245m with WB

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The World Bank will provide additional $245 million for the project to improve the equity, efficiency and transparency of major safety net programs in Bangladesh. 

"This this end, an agreement between the government and the World Bank will be signed on Tuesday at the Economic Relations Division (ERD)," said an official at the World Bank's local office here.

The official that ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and World Bank Country Director to Bangladesh Qimiao Fan will sign the agreement in the afternoon on Tuesday, reports BSS.

With the additional financing, the World Bank's total commitment to the project stands at $745 million, the official said, adding the project will end 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 six-year grace period, and carry a service charge of 0.75 percent. 

The government implements a number of safety net programs to support the poor and vulnerable.

According to the World Bank, the financing to the ongoing safety net systems for the poor will benefit 9 million poorest households. It will also help improve performance of some of the country's largest safety net programs, which are implemented by the Department of Disaster Management. 

These safety nets include public workfare and humanitarian assistance programs. 

In FY 2017, Bangladesh spent around $3.5 billion on social protection, which is about 1.4 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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.

To help streamline safety net program administration, the project is helping build common platforms for improved beneficiary targeting, information management, and digital payment. 

The financing will support the Department of Disaster Management to roll out a management information system to administer beneficiary records and program processes, as well as expand digital payment to beneficiaries with greater efficiency and transparency.

It will also support the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) 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.


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