WB praises Bangladesh progress in reducing poverty

Bangladesh is recognized globally for making remarkable progress in reducing poverty and advancing human development, said Annette Dixon, World Bank vice-president for the South Asia region, Thursday.

wb“Other countries can learn from Bangladesh’s rich development experience,” Xinhua news agency quoted Dixon as saying as she concluded her first visit to Bangladesh since assuming her position in December 2014.

Dixon has pledged strong support for the people of Bangladesh to achieve the goal of becoming a middle-income country by the end of this decade.

“The World Bank remains committed to working with Bangladesh to reduce poverty and bring prosperity to all Bangladeshis. The World Bank has already approved more than $1 billion in new financing this fiscal year to improve primary education, child nutrition, and resilience to natural disasters. We are on track to deliver a total of nearly $2 billion by the end of June,” she added.

Dixon met senior government officials and discussed how World Bank support can be best aligned with the country’s priorities. She also met civil society and private sector leaders and development partners. Dixon also visited the Export Processing Zone in Chittagong and a government health facility in Dhaka.

“The World Bank is keen to support Bangladesh in achieving its vision of becoming a middle-income country. For this to happen, Bangladesh needs to do more to narrow the power and transportation gaps, manage urbanisation, reduce climate change impacts, and also improve the business environment, public service delivery and governance. Going forward, the World Bank will help Bangladesh to clear bottlenecks that impede faster growth and to connect to regional and global markets,” Dixon was quoted as saying in a statement by the bank Thursday.

The World Bank is the largest development partner of Bangladesh, committing more than $19 billion in interest-free International Development Association (IDA) credits to advance Bangladesh’s development priorities since the country’s independence, it said.

According to the statement, the current IDA portfolio consists of 32 projects, with a total commitment of $7.5 billion.

The World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has a portfolio of 35 projects with investment commitments of $668 million, it said.

The World Bank Group’s arm for promoting foreign direct investment, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), has a portfolio of one active project with a total guarantee amount of $251 million.