WB provides $350m for Rohingyas, locals

Staff Correspondent

2 April, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The World Bank has approved $350 million in grant financing for three projects to help Bangladesh meet various needs of local communities in Cox’s Bazar and Rohingya settlers.

These grants will be spent for improving health services, social protection and basic services and infrastructure and reducing gender-based violence, said a press release issued by World Bank on Tuesday.

“Bangladesh has shown great leadership by providing shelter to around 1.1 million Rohingya, which is about three times of the local population in Teknaf and Ukhia upazilas. Naturally, this has placed immense strain on existing infrastructure and social service delivery, and increased health and disaster risks,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

She said the three grants will cater to the needs of both the host and Rohingya communities and strengthen the host country’s service delivery capacity and resilience to natural disaster and climate change.

WB said $150 million Health and Gender Support Project for Cox’s Bazar District will enable 3.6 million people including the Rohingya to have access to health, nutrition and family planning services as well as address gender-based violence through preventive and response services.

As infant mortality rate and prevalence of stunting in Cox’s Bazar is higher than national average, the project will renovate and upgrade health facilities in Cox’s Bazar, including District Sadar Hospital and the Mother and Child Welfare Center in the localities and the women friendly spaces inside the Rohingya camps.

The project will also help fill in vacant positions of health professionals and ensure adequate medical supplies. Within the Rohingya camps, the project will provide psychosocial counseling, immunization, tuberculosis screening and treatment and nutrition services, said the global lender. 

Besides, $100 million additional financing to the Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project will scale up access to energy, water, sanitation and disaster-resilient infrastructures for the Rohingya and the surrounding host communities.

The project will benefit about 7,80,800 people, including 1,40,800 local people with better public infrastructure. This includes access to improved water sources for 3,65,800 people and better sanitation for 1,71,800 people. It will help build 40 multi-purpose disaster shelters, accessible to 81,000 people. The project will also support renewable energy systems  using solar photovoltaic nano-grid schemes to increase access to clean electricity and install  around 4,000 solar street lights, 975 lightning protection systems and build 250 km of climate resilient roads.