• Monday, Aug 08, 2022
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Bangladesh seeks $500m budget aid from World Bank

  • Published at 05:05 pm April 6th, 2021
World Bank
File photo: The World Bank Group logo is seen on the building of the Washington-based global development lender Reuters

The assistance will be used to address the economic fallout caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, says the finance minister

Bangladesh has sought for a $500 million loan from the World Bank as a support to implement the country’s budget.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the request in a virtual meeting with the officials of global lender on Monday, said a media statement on Tuesday.

He said the assistance will be used to address the economic fallout caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The finance minister also sought financial support for water supply and sanitation in the proposed “Ecological Restoration Support to Rivers and Canals around Dhaka” project, in transport, building environment-friendly sustainable infrastructures for promoting river-based tourism, establishing good governance and in technology and stipend based education for the female students for enhancing the participation of women in different working fields.

Following the finance minister’s call, the World Bank representatives assured that it would be taken into consideration positively.

The virtual event was organized as part of the ongoing Spring Meetings 2021 of the World Bank Group, where Kamal led the Bangladesh team and World Bank's Vice President for South Asia Hartwig Schafer led the World Bank team.

In the program, the finance minister lauded the World Bank for the timely measures it took to fight the Covid-19 contagion.

He also thanked the international lender for extending its support to Bangladesh under the Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit project and for the $500 million fund for Covid-19 vaccines earlier.

Kamal mentioned that although the country’s economy was affected like other economies of the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy of Bangladesh was in a comfortably good position because of the farsighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Perceiving the severity of the pandemic, he said the prime minister delivered a total of 23 stimulus packages one after another worth Tk1,24,053 crore for the people belonging to all economic tiers.

Finance Division Senior Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Fatima Yasmin and World Bank Country Director Mercy Tembon also joined the meeting.