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World Bank approves $250m to create quality jobs in Bangladesh

  • Published at 04:54 pm March 27th, 2021
World Bank
File photo: The World Bank Group logo is seen on the building of the Washington-based global development lender Reuters

With this program, the World Bank’s total financing to the Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit series stands at $750 million

The World Bank on Friday approved $250 million to help Bangladesh for creating more, better and inclusive jobs and effectively responding to the Covid-19 pandemic for a faster recovery and stronger resilience in future crises.

The Third Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit– the last in a series of three credits– is supporting the government of Bangladesh to develop a stronger policy and institutional framework to modernize the trade and investment regime.

The credit also helps to improve social protection for workers, and help youth, women and vulnerable populations access quality jobs, said a World Bank press release on Saturday.

“Job creation remains central to Bangladesh’s development objectives. While Bangladesh has had strong economic growth in recent years, the pace of job creation has slowed, especially in the manufacturing sector. The Covid-19 pandemic increased the challenges, and the poor and women were hardest hit,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

“This financing will help Bangladesh to create more and better jobs and expand support for both formal and informal workers affected by Covid-19 crisis,” she added.

The financing will support the government in its efforts to protect the earnings of workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis and enable firms to continue paying their workers’ wages.

It will also support informal micro-entrepreneurs in recovering from the shock by extending micro-finance facilities. Overall, it will be supporting the government programs to protect over 5 million jobs as part of the government’s near-term response to the crisis, while laying the groundwork to accelerate recovery and build resilience.

This program will also help streamline business and investment services, reducing the cost of starting a business. Furthermore, it supports reforms to align the skills development sector with labour-market demands.

“Although income and job losses due to the pandemic impacted people from all walks of life, women are most at risk of exiting the job market,” said Aline Coudouel, World Bank lead economist and task team leader for the project.

“This series of programs promoted quality daycare for children in a bid to bring more women to the job market and supported actions to create a more inclusive labour market for women, youth and migrants,” added the World Bank  official.

With this program, the World Bank’s total financing to the Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit series stands at $750 million.

The credit is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) which provides concessional financing and has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.

Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA program totaling over $14 billion. The World Bank was aamong the first development partners to support Bangladesh and has committed more than $35 billion in grants, interest-free and concessional credits to the country since its independence.