The authorities concerned must ensure that none of this money is wasted and squandered
Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on Bangladesh, with its economy severely compromised and its progress in poverty reduction and building equity amongst the people coming to a screeching halt.
To that end, it is extremely encouraging to see that the World Bank on Saturday approved $1.05bn for three projects to assist Bangladesh in rebuilding its economy -- intending to create quality jobs, accelerate economic activity, and build resilience within the country to be better prepared for the future.
This assistance, which comes from the World Bank in the form of long-term loans, includes the $500m Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship (PRIDE) project -- set to promote and attract about $2bn of direct private investments into the Bangladesh economy.
Additionally, the $295 million Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE) Project is set to establish a robust digital platform for all government agencies and significantly improve the country’s cyber-security.
What is especially encouraging to see about the projects is the focus on enhancing and establishing digital solutions and improving the country’s overall IT sector. Digital Bangladesh has long been held as a chief talking point for the current government, and the projects mentioned will be a big boost to realizing that vision.
However, now that the World Bank has approved of the amount, the spotlight shifts on Bangladesh; over $1bn will go a very long way in helping the economy and its myriad sectors, but the authorities concerned must ensure that none of this money is wasted and squandered.
Too often in the past, Bangladesh has not shown the urgency required to effectively and efficiently utilize foreign assistance. Let us not make that mistake again, particularly in the wake of a pandemic which has already left our economy shaky.