Over $1bn WB loan coming as COVID-19 response

Staff Correspondent

14th April, 2021 02:05:30 printer

Over $1bn WB loan coming as COVID-19 response

Bangladesh has signed three agreements with the World Bank for $1.04 billion loan to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to build resilience to future crises, including vaccination against COVID-19, expand electronic procurement and accelerate economic recovery.
The $500 million additional financing to the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness Project will help Bangladesh vaccinate about 54 million people against COVID-19. It will help the government procure vaccines; expand storage facilities; and distribute and deploy the vaccines. 

The project will also continue to provide support to strengthen the national health systems to detect, prevent, and treat COVID-19 cases as well for preparedness for future health emergencies. 
The agreements were signed by Fatima Yasmin and Mercy Tembon on behalf of the Government and the World Bank respectively, says a WB release. 

The $500 million Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship (PRIDE) Project will promote and attract about $2 billion direct private investments and strengthen social and environmental standards in selected public and private economic zones and software technology parks. 
It will develop the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar II in Mirsarai-Feni and establish Dhaka’s first digital entrepreneurship hub in the Janata Software Technology Park and turn it into a green building. 
By creating more jobs and attracting domestic and foreign private investment, including in the IT and ITES sectors, the project will help the economy to rebound from the impact of COVID-19.
The $40 million Additional Financing to the Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPP) will help Bangladesh expand electronic government procurement (e-GP) to all public procurement entities with new features to respond to the COVID-19 challenges. 

Last year, during the general holiday for the COVID-19 pandemic, e-GP played a critical role in continuing development works throughout the country. To respond to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and any other future emergencies, the financing will help add features to the e-GP system, including international bidding, direct contracting, framework agreement, electronic contract management and payment, procurement data analytics, geo-tagging, and others.