WB to redirect funds from sluggish projects for budget support
The World Bank has decided to release funds from three ongoing but slow-moving projects and relaxed conditions to permit Bangladesh to secure $250 million in budget support within its efforts to help the country push away financial ruins.
Bangladesh was likely to get the funds in budgetary support in September this season, however now the Washington-based multilateral lender has taken forward the date to make the funds available by May.
Some $160 million will be re-routed from the three projects, said an official of the Economic Relations Division.
The WB and the federal government would sit for negotiation on May 14 and the funds may be available within a couple of days of the meeting, he added.
Bangladesh desperately needs the funds as it has unveiled 18 stimulus packages amounting to Tk 95,619 crore to pull various sectors of the economy out from the coronavirus-induced slump and protect the poor and newly unemployed.
Another $100 million would come from the WB's IDA-19, the existing round of the International Development Association, among the largest sources of funding for fighting extreme poverty in the world's poorest countries.
To make the budget support available, the WB has gone one step further: it has decided to relax conditions related to the reforms that Bangladesh needed to be set up before availing the funds.
The reforms relate to establishing childcare centre at the export processing zones and amending the Company Act.
The Washington-based multilateral lender has already allocated $100 million to Bangladesh for health services.