To Fight COVID-19 Impacts

$500m budget support sought from WB

Staff Correspondent

7 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

$500m budget support sought from WB

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has sought $500 million budget support from the World Bank to address the Covid-19 impacts.

Kamal made the request at a virtual meeting between a Bangladesh delegation and a World Bank delegation on Tuesday evening as part of the ongoing spring meetings 2021 of the IMF and World Bank Group.

The finance minister also sought financial support from the Washington-based lending agency for water supply and sanitation, ecological restoration around Dhaka city, and for building environment-friendly sustainable infrastructures for promoting river-based tourism.

He also sought WB’s help for establishing good governance and in technology and stipend based education for the female students for enhancing the participation of women in different working fields.

The finance minister led the Bangladesh delegation while World Bank Vice President for the South Asia region Hartwig Schafer led the World Bank delegation.

Finance Division Senior secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary Fatima Yasmin and World Bank country director Mercy Tembon also joined the meeting, said a Finance Ministry press release today.

In response to the request, the World Bank delegation assured Bangladesh of considering the matters.

The finance minister in the meeting mentioned that although the country’s economy was affected like other economies of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy of Bangladesh was in a comfortably good position because of the farsighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Sensing the severity of the pandemic, Kamal said the Prime Minister announced 23 stimulus packages worth Tk 1,240.53 billion for the people belonging to all economic tiers, which is a rare courageous step in the history.

Besides, the COVID-19 vaccination programme is underway free of cost for all the citizens of the country.

At the meeting, the finance minister thanked to the World Bank for their continued support to Bangladesh for ensuring the overall development of the country.

He also lauded the timely initiatives of the World Bank for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and extended thanks to the lending agency for its support to the “Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit (DPC),” and also $500 million support to Bangladesh for procuring COVID-19 vaccines.