International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm, will provide US$ 535 million for strengthening delivery of urban services and quality of higher education in the country.
Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Secretary of Economic Relations Division and Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Nepal, signed two financing agreements on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively at the External Relations Division on Monday, said a press release.
Of the total amount, $410 million will be given for the Municipal Governance and Services Project and $125 million in additional financing for the ongoing Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project.
The credit from the International Development Association (IDA) has 40 years to maturity, including a 10-year grace period; and carries a service charge of 0.75 percent.
The Municipal Governance and Services Project aims to improve the municipal governance and basic urban services in the urban local bodies located along growth corridors from Dhaka towards Chittagong, Rangpur, Sylhet, and Mymensingh, said a press release.
The project aims to benefit some 3.4 million people in municipalities across the country, of whom 45 percent will be women.
Through a demand-driven approach, the project will build roads, water and sanitation systems, markets, bus terminals, and municipal services centers in these communities.
“Bangladesh’s vision for becoming a middle income country is ambitious, but not impossible. To achieve this goal, it will need to boost its competitiveness and grow at an even faster pace than the last decade”, said Johanness Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh.
The additional financing to the ongoing Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project that started in 2009 will continue to support enhancement of quality and relevance of higher education.
The project aims to introduce innovation, accountability and better research facilities in public and private universities.
The additional financing will continue to promote academic innovation through a competitive funding mechanism, known as the Academic Innovation Fund. The project has already awarded 194 academic innovation funds to 27 public and two private universities.
Govt signs $535mn deal with WB