The World Bank signed a $ 300 million funding agreement with Bangladesh on June 27 to help an estimated 750,000 poor and extremely poor in 20 districts lift themselves out of poverty and build resilience to the Covid-19 pandemic and to any future shock.
Through income-generating activities, support for livelihoods and entrepreneurship, as well as skills development of the poor and extremely poor, the Resilience, Entrepreneurship and Improved Livelihoods (RELI) project will help stimulate the rural economy in approximately 3,200 villages.
Building on the success of the first and second projects of the Social Investment Program and the Nuton Jibon Livelihood Improvement Project, the RELI project will mobilize, develop and strengthen community organizations, and finance their community plans, will provide money transfers and income loans. generating activities, the World Bank said in a statement today.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the rural poor, especially women, by limiting their income and economic opportunities,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
“This project will help stimulate the rural economy and 90 percent of the beneficiaries will be women. The project will also contribute to health and nutrition awareness. When a woman earns more, her family and the community are better off.
In addition, the project will support rural entrepreneurs and producer groups with business links, including e-commerce platforms, partnerships with local governments and promotional activities.
It will also offer skills development training to unemployed or underemployed youth and return migrants to increase their employability.
“The project is aligned with the Eighth Five-Year Plan and the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100,” said Fatima Yasmin, secretary of the economic relations division.
“Through community mobilization and climate-smart farming practices, the project will help rural women withstand any future shocks like the pandemic without falling back into poverty. “
The project will provide training to nearly 490,000 people on climate risks, adaptation and resilience building. It will also build 5,120 small-scale climate resilient infrastructure.
The agreement was signed by Yasmin and Tembon on behalf of the government and the World Bank respectively.
The World Bank’s International Development Association credit has a term of 30 years, including a five-year grace period.
The World Bank is among the first development partners to support Bangladesh after independence.
Bangladesh currently has one of IDA’s largest programs, totaling over $ 14 billion.
Since independence, the World Bank has committed over $ 35 billion in grants, interest-free and concessional loans in the country.