World Bank approves 500 million USD credit to help Bangladesh improve disaster preparedness

The World Bank approved a 500 million USD credit to help Bangladesh improve disaster preparedness against inland flooding in 14 flood-prone districts benefiting over 1.25 million people.

The credit has been approved under the Resilient Infrastructure for Adoption and Vulnerability Reduction (RIVER) project of the World Bank. It will fund the construction of 500 multipurpose flood shelters, access roads, and climate-resilient community infrastructure in the country.

In normal times, the flood shelters will operate as primary schools and they will be equipped with solar energy systems, water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities that cater to the needs of women and vulnerable populations. The project will also help strengthen the capacity of communities and government agencies to prepare and respond to floods and undertake behavioral change interventions.

World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Tembon said that this project will help Bangladesh improve disaster preparedness in the non-coastal flood-prone areas. It will also support the country’s transition from disaster response to a disaster risk management approach.

The project will help save lives and properties in the highly flood-prone districts in the Teesta-Brahmaputra-Jamuna, Padma, and Surma-Meghna river basins, which include Nilpamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Bogura, Pabna, Sirajganj, Rajbari, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Madaripur, and Sunamganj, Habiganj.

The project will support the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, a long-term plan to achieve a safe, climate-resilient, and prosperous delta, as well as the World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025.

The credit is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). It provides concessional financing, and has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.