The World Bank is changing its viewpoint for providing assistance and the South Asian countries including Bangladesh would get its benefit within next two years, visiting World Bank executive director for South Asia MN Prasad said yesterday.
The WB executive director stated this when he called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her Secretariat office.
PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad, who was present in the meeting, briefed the reporters about its outcome.
Prasad said that all the activities of the World Bank would have to be of global standard as it is a global bank. “All the members of the bank have the right to get its assistance,” he added.
The WB executive director lauded Bangladesh’s successes in the fields of agriculture, education, health, poverty alleviation, food security, social safety net, women empowerment and ICT.
He said Bangladesh is doing well in all sectors under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “Everybody is praising Sheikh Hasina’s leadership to steer the nation towards development and prosperity.”
The Prime Minister said that the present government assumed office through a free and fair election after receiving overwhelming mandate of the people.
She said that her government has been trying hard to build Bangladesh as a middle income country free from hunger and poverty by 2021.
The government is committed to bringing qualitative changes in the lives of the people in general and for the poor in particular, she added.
Hasina said: “The country witnessed tremendous development in all the sectors due to the pragmatic steps of the government.”
Mentioning that Bangladesh’s economy was doing well despite the global economic recession, she said the country has been maintaining a GDP growth rate of over six percent for the last four years.
The PM said: “Over five crore people have graduated to middle income group and the poverty rate has been reduced to below 26 percent.”
Bangladesh has attained significant improvements in socioeconomic sectors and in good governance as well as in combating corruption, she added.
Hasina said Bangladesh received the UN Award in 2010 for its outstanding success in reducing child mortality rate, where the World Bank has significant contribution.
She said: “Massive development took place in the country’s infrastructure sector as the government built huge number of roads, bridges, flyovers, educational institutions, hospitals, community clinics and power plants.”
The Prime Minister acknowledged the World Bank support towards the socioeconomic development of the country.
She also praised the global lender’s help to bridge the financial gaps in the implementation of uplift programs and maintaining macro-economic stability.
Hasina requested the World Bank executive director to use his good office for more bank support to different priority areas like physical infrastructure, poverty alleviation, education, health, ICT, agriculture and rural development, good governance and women empowerment.