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WB, Bangladesh sign $50m grant financing deal to help Rohingyas

  • Published at 03:34 pm September 20th, 2018
File photo of a Rohingya mother, holding her kids, looks on in a Cox's Bazar camp Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The health care needs of the nearly one million Rohingyas, living in congested camps, are enormous

Bangladesh has signed a $50 million grant financing agreement with the World Bank to help strengthen the government’s health care services so that it can respond to the health, nutrition, and family planning needs of the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar. 

The agreement was signed by Kazi Shofiqul Azam and Qimiao Fan on behalf of the government and the World Bank, respectively, at the Economic Relations Division, the World Bank said in a statement on Thursday.

This additional financing to the existing Health Sector Support Project will help provide essential health and nutrition services to the Rohingyas, which will include maternal, neonatal, infant, child, and adolescent health, nutrition, and psychosocial services, as well as reproductive health care.

World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan, Qimiao Fan said nearly one million Rohingyas, living in congested camps, face risks of disease outbreaks and suffer from high rates of child malnutrition. “Their health care needs are enormous,” he added.

“This grant financing will help the government plan and manage health, nutrition and population services for the Rohingya people while the existing project will continue to provide health care to the local population,” Fan said.

This will be the first in a series of projects financed by the World Bank to support Bangladesh in dealing with the Rohingya influx.

The financing will strengthen health services provided through the health centers within the camps, in addition to the Cox’s Bazar District Hospital, upazila health complexes and other selected government facilities in Ukhiya and Teknaf. 

It will also help the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to scale up and strengthen the existing facilities within and adjacent to the camps. Through the Women-Friendly Centers within the camps, the financing will support services for the victims of gender-based violence.

“Bangladesh has provided shelter to the Rohingya population mostly women and children who fled from violence in Myanmar,” said ERD Senior Secretary Azam.

“The government of Bangladesh is addressing the needs of the displaced population together with the host community. We welcome the support from the World Bank.”

The World Bank will provide $41.67 million as a grant through the IDA18 Regional Sub-window for Refugees and Host Communities with an additional $8.33 million as a grant from the Government of Canada.

This World Bank financing instrument for refugees and host communities means that for every dollar contributed by Canada, five additional grant dollars will be unlocked for a total of $50 million in new financing.