World Bank Pledges $2 Billion to Bangladesh for Climate Smart Growth

October 19, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Conor Ashleigh

 

By

Sheuli Akter

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, concluding a two-day trip to Bangladesh, has focused on the country’s successes in reducing extreme poverty, pledging $2 billion over the next three years in new funding to help the country become less vulnerable to climate change.

Kim on Tuesday made the pledge after touring schools that double as cyclone shelters during major storms. He also visited rural communities in more remote locations that are enjoying the benefits of electricity in their homes and shops through solar systems as part of the country’s green-growth agenda. Kim met with rural residents who told him that electricity has helped transformed their lives, improving their livelihoods and building infrastructure for the entire community.

“Bangladesh is among the countries most at risk from the impacts of climate change. We must confront climate change now as it hits the poor the hardest,” said Kim. “Bangladesh has been a forerunner in adaptation and stronger disaster-coping mechanisms and these have reduced the impact of recent storms, cyclones, and floods. And the World Bank Group plans to help Bangladesh become even more resilient to climate change.”

Bangladesh, with active community participation, has improved defensive measures, including early warning systems, cyclone shelters, evacuation plans, coastal embankments, reforestation schemes and increased awareness and communication. These measures have reduced deaths in major storms.

“The dramatic decline in deaths demonstrates that Bangladesh’s adaptation measures do work,” said Kim. “I’m most impressed by the resilience of the people of Bangladesh at a time when climate change puts their lives and livelihoods at risk. Their determination to provide their children with better opportunities underpins Bangladesh’s powerful development story and the country can do even better if it addresses its challenges in climate change, infrastructure, human development, governance, and attracting private sector investments.”

On Kim’s first day in Bangladesh, he marked End Poverty Day to celebrate the country’s achievements in helping millions of people lift themselves out of poverty, said the global lender in a statement.

It said the $2 billion pledge in new money for climate change is in addition to $1 billion pledged by Kim on Monday to end childhood stunting in Bangladesh. Both amounts are contingent on a successful replenishment of the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, which should be agreed in December, it added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheuli Akter

Sheuli Akter, from Bangladesh, is a Special Correspondent and Editor of NsNewsWire, (Bangladesh’s First Press Newswire). Previously she had worked for Bangladesh’ top news agency, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) and top newspaper (now defunct) The Bangladesh Observer. She also gained an honourable mention in the first ever World Media Summit WMS Awards for ‘Exemplary News Professionals in Developing Countries’, receiving the award in Beijing in January 2015.

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