World Bank launches $6.1 billion support programme for Bangladesh

Dhaka, Sep 15 (Calcutta Tube) The World Bank Wednesday launched its Country Assistance Strategy for Bangladesh, proposing financial support of $6.1 billion over a period of four years.

The fund is to contribute to Bangladesh’s aims of rapid poverty reduction and achieving middle-income status by 2021, the bank said when launching the strategy for 2011-2014.

The World Bank is to focus on increasing transformative investments, reducing vulnerability to climate change, improving social services delivery and strengthening accountability.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhit said the bank’s strategy was well aligned to the government’s priorities.

‘We are particularly pleased to see the bank supporting high-priority projects like construction of a mega bridge and power generation,’ the minister said.

The bank promised $2 billion for 2011, the bulk of which is to be used for the construction of a multi-purpose bridge on the river Padma.

Ellen Goldstein, World Bank country director in Bangladesh, said the bank would first scale up existing programmes, including investments to promote independent and privately owned power plants, extend the rural electricity grid and expand successful solar energy systems.

The World Bank board of directors endorsed the new Country Assistance Strategy for Bangladesh in July this year, according to a statement by the Bank’s Dhaka office.

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