WB to provide $206 mln for cyclone rehabilitation projects in Bangladesh

By Xinhua,

Dhaka : The World Bank has assured the Bangladesh government of providing 206 million U.S. dollars in additional funds for rehabilitation projects in the cyclone-hit southwestern coastal areas of the country, a government official said.

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The WB last month completed negotiation for lending the fund tothe government by June this year to reduce the pressures on fiscal management that has been badly affected by cyclone Sidr, leading English newspaper The Financial Express reported Sunday.

“The Bank last month sent a mission from its headquarters to explore the possibility of extending their support to Bangladesh. The team had separate talks with the concerned government agencies and has given green signal for giving the 206 million U.S. dollars additional funds,” an official from the finance ministry was quoted as saying.

He said, “The proposed fund by the World Bank will be utilized for restoring the damaged agriculture, reconstruction and improvement of cyclone shelters, rehabilitation of coastal embankment and to address long-term disaster risk.”

Following a donor-government damage, loss and need assessment carried out jointly on the effects of cyclone Sidr, the global lender has assured Bangladesh of giving 206 million U.S. dollars fund for rehabilitation programs in the cyclone-hit areas.

The joint assessment said Bangladesh needs 300 million U.S. dollars for immediate recovery, 1.075 billion U.S. dollars for medium-to-long term recovery and another 4.0 billion U.S. dollars for long-term disaster risk reduction.

The government in December last year urged the donors to provide 400 million U.S. dollars as budgetary support, 457.76 million U.S. dollars for immediate rehabilitation of the cyclone-affected areas and 1.35 billion for sustainable protection against any future natural disasters.

The cyclone Sidr battered Bangladesh’s southern and southwestern coastal districts on Nov. 15, last year, claiming thousands of lives and causing more than 2 billion U.S. dollars economic loss.