WB approves $15m credit to help Bangladesh improve its statistics

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DHAKA, March 23, 2018 (BSS) – The World Bank has approved a US$15 million financing to help Bangladesh produce timely and quality statistics.

This credit will help the country make more evidence-based policy decisions, according to a press release of the World Bank received here today.

The National Strategy for Development of Statistics Implementation Support Project will improve the capacity of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) to produce and disseminate quality statistics in a timely manner.

“Quality statistics are necessary for development and poverty reduction efforts. They provide evidence for policy decisions. Timely, reliable, and publicly available statistics are central to understand needs, plan resource allocation, and monitor development progress,” said Rajashree Paralkar, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh.

“For the last decade, the World Bank has been supporting Bangladesh strengthen its statistical capacity. In recent years, the country made important strides, including producing quarterly poverty and labour data,” he said.

In 2013, Bangladesh approved the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) and Statistics Act.

The project will help implement key elements of the strategy. It will enhance coverage and improve collection and quality of data for core statistics, including national accounts and statistics on price, labour, industry, social sectors, and agriculture. Where applicable, it will also produce gender-disaggregated data.

“The project will help create an enabling environment to improve core statistics as per international standards,” said Maria Eugenia Genoni, Task Team Leader of the World Bank.

“For this, the project will ensure effective coordination and management of statistical activities and impart sustainable training for human resource development,” he added.

The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm. The credit is interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, and carries a service charge of 0.75 percent.

The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh after its independence. Since then, the World Bank has committed close to $27 billion interest-free credits to Bangladesh. In recent years, Bangladesh has been among the largest recipient of the World Bank’s interest- free credits.