Climate-smart growth key to achieve Bangladesh’s upper-middle income status; WB

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DHAKA, July 11, 2019 (BSS) – The World Bank today reaffirmed its
continued support to Bangladesh to achieve the country’s vision of reaching
an upper-middle income status through ensuring green growth.

The Washington-based lending agency reaffirmed this as the Bank’s Chief
Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva concluded a two-day visit to
Bangladesh.

As a co-chair of the Third Executive Meeting of the Global Commission on
Adaptation (GCA) that took place in Dhaka on July 10, Georgieva commended
Bangladesh for its leading role in adaptation and disaster preparedness,
despite being among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, said a
press release.

“The world can learn from Bangladesh’s adaptation and strong disaster-
coping mechanisms. Their approach is working when we compare recent and past
natural disasters: Cyclone Bhola in 1970 killed half a million people while
last May Cyclone Fani, of similar strength caused less than 10,” said
Georgieva.

“But climate change will make the threat of natural disasters more
frequent and intense. The World Bank remains committed to help Bangladesh
improve resilience and ensure climate-smart growth.” she added.

For Bangladesh, dealing with climate change is a development priority.
With active community participation, the country has improved defensive
measures, including early warning systems, cyclone shelters that double up as
schools, evacuation plans, coastal embankments, reforestation schemes and
increased awareness and communication. The World Bank has supported these
measures, which have reduced deaths in major storms.

On Wednesday, the World Bank CEO met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
and commended Bangladesh’s remarkable progress in economic development and
poverty reduction. They discussed the country’s development priorities, and
how the bank can support them.

Georgieva today visited a learning center, known as Ananda School that
brings poor out-of-school children back to primary education.

The World Bank is supporting the government project that enrolled about
690,000 poor and out-of-school children, half of whom are girls, in Ananda
Schools, which in Bengali means “school of joy”.

To cover the poorest slum children, the project has been expanded to 11
city corporations. In Cox’s Bazar area, the program is providing learning
opportunities to Rohingya children and helping the dropped-out youth from the
host community.

“I am most impressed with the resilience of the people of Bangladesh and
their determination for a better future for their children,” added Georgieva.

“This has been the driving force that made Bangladesh become a low-
middle income country from being one of the poorest nations at birth only
within four decades. The country also showed extreme generosity by providing
shelter to about a million Rohingya population. The World Bank stands by
Bangladesh in its journey to an upper-middle income status.”

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