|Published : 17 Oct 2016, 11:32:54 | Updated : 17 Oct 2016, 14:13:35|
World Bank President Kim says will increase assistance by 50 per cent for Bangladesh
FE Online Desk
The World Bank will increase its assistance for Bangladesh by 50 per cent, its visiting boss Jim Yong Kim says.
The announcement came at a press conference after he held talks with Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the Secretariat in capital Dhaka around 9am on Monday.
Kim said the global lending agency will also provide $1.0 billion in excess to dispel the malnutrition facing children in the South Asian country.
The World Bank lends Bangladesh in a three-year-package from its soft loan window International Development Association (IDA).
As part of this, the World Bank committed Bangladesh $1.18 billion in loans for the fiscal year 2015-16 but released $1.6 billion in the end.
Tenure for the ongoing IDA package will expire next year.
World Bank chief Kim promised that Bangladesh will get soft loans 50 per cent more than now in fiscal year 2017-18.
He evaded a question on the wrangle between the World Bank and Bangladesh over the Padma bridge project.
He said, “We are with Bangladesh. We continue to assist Bangladesh in various sectors, including climate change and infrastructure development. We have also talked with the Finance Minister about this.”
Kim is on a two-day visit in Bangladesh from Sunday.
Reportedly, he has chosen to observe the International Day on Poverty Alleviation in the South Asian country, considering and to see for himself its surprising success in poverty alleviation.
Analysts, however, see his visit as a bid to smoothen relations between Bangladesh and the World Bank after it strained following the global lender's withdrawal from co-financing the bridge project.
Bangladesh government is now financing the project from its domestic sources, which is expected to be completed and opened to traffic by 2018.