Kamal seeks $500m as budget support from WB to face COVID-19 impact
DHAKA, – Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has sought $500 million as budget support from the World Bank to face the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The finance minister also sought financial support from the Washington-based lending agency for water supply and sanitation in the proposed “Ecological Restoration Support to Rivers and Canals around Dhaka” project, in transport, building environment-friendly sustainable infrastructures for promoting river-based tourism, establishing good governance and in technology and stipend based education for the female students for enhancing the participation of women in different working fields.
Kamal made the request at a virtual meeting between a Bangladesh delegation and a World Bank delegation yesterday evening as part of the ongoing spring meetings 2021 of the IMF and World Bank Group.
The finance minister led the Bangladesh delegation while World Bank Vice President for the South Asia region Hartwig Schafer led the World Bank delegation.
Finance Division Senior secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary Fatima Yasmin and World Bank country director Mercy Tembon also joined the meeting, said a Finance Ministry press release today.
In response to the request, the World Bank delegation assured Bangladesh of considering the matters.
The finance minister in the meeting mentioned that although the country’s economy was affected like other economies of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy of Bangladesh was in a comfortably good position because of the farsighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Perceiving the severity of the pandemic, Kamal said the Prime Minister delivered a total of 23 stimulus packages one after another worth Taka 1,24,053 crore for the people belonging to all economic tiers which is a rare courageous step in the history.
Side by side, he said, the COVID-19 vaccination programme is underway free of cost for all the citizens of the country.
At the very outset of the meeting, the finance minister extended thanks to the World Bank for their continued support to Bangladesh for ensuring the overall development of the country.
He also lauded the timely initiatives of the World Bank for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and extended thanks to the lending agency for its support to the “Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit (DPC),” and also $500 million support to Bangladesh for procuring COVID-19 vaccines.