The World Bank assistance to Bangladesh during the July-February period of the current fiscal year (2012-13) witnessed an upward trend compared to the corresponding period last fiscal, and the lending agency is likely to finance four more projects in the current fiscal.
An official at the World Bank’s local office told UNB that the government and the World Bank had already completed negotiation for $35m additional financing for Public Procurement Reform Project.
The World Bank is further likely to make commitments in FY 13 for modern grain storage project, coastal embankment improvement project and a safety net programme for the poorest, said the official.
The World Bank’s current portfolio in Bangladesh consists of 36 projects with a commitment of $4.5bn. It has approved so far four projects totaling of $657m in FY 13.
The disbursement of the World Bank financing for Annual Development Programme has witnessed an upward trend in the last four years. The World Bank disbursement for the current financial year is $437m (till February 28, 2013). For the similar period, the disbursement in FY 12 was $283.5m.
The projects in Bangladesh that were approved in FY 13 by the Washington-based lending agency are Rural Transport Improvement II (US$302m), Rural Electrification & Renewable Energy II (US$155m), Leveraging ICT (US$70m) and Reaching Out-of-school Children II (US$130m).
Meanwhile, the World Bank and the government on March 30 jointly completed a portfolio review of selected WB-supported operations in Bangladesh to further enhance project implementation and disbursement rates.
Of the 36 projects that are currently under World Bank portfolio, some 13 projects were reviewed that were either nearing completion or identified as slow moving compared to the rest of the portfolio.
The government, the World Bank and the respective project teams discussed key implementation challenges and agreed on concrete actions to improve performance and accelerate disbursements for these projects.
Since independence, the World Bank has provided more than US$16b support to Bangladesh and helped the country to significantly reduce poverty and boost human development.