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PRESS RELEASE

Bangladesh Receives $400 Million to Rehabilitate 600km Embankments in Coastal Districts

October 1, 2013

There are an estimated 8 million people vulnerable to inundation of over three meters in Bangladesh's coastal areas. To increase the resilience of the coastal population to flooding and other natural disasters, the World Bank is helping build cyclone shelters, strengthen early warning systems, and upgrade Bangladesh's coastal embankment system.

DHAKAThe government of Bangladesh today signed a financing agreement worth $400 million for the Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP I) with the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional arm. The amount includes $375 million soft credit from IDA and $25 million grant from the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience. The project will help upgrade Bangladesh’s embankment system and increase area protected by polders from tidal flooding and frequent storm surges.

The project will rehabilitate 600 kilometers of embankments in 17 polders in six coastal districts - Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Barguna, Patuakhali, and Pirojpur. The rehabilitated polders would provide direct protection to 760,000 people living within the polder boundaries.

A recent World Bank study estimated that currently 8 million people are vulnerable to inundation depths greater than three meters due to cyclonic storm surges in Bangladesh. By 2050, this number may increase to 13.5 million due to population growth and by an additional 9 million due to climate change.

“Climate change is no longer just an environmental issue. It is a fundamental threat to economic development and poverty reduction,” said Ms. Christine E. Kimes, Acting Head of the World Bank Bangladesh Country Office.In a changing climate, there is an urgent need to upgrade the embankment system for enhancing resilience of coastal areas to cyclones, tidal and flood inundations, and salinity intrusion.”

In addition to providing protection against storm surges and floods, the project will help to reduce poverty by facilitating the growth of farm and non-farm activities in the coastal area. Around 8.5 million people living in these six districts would benefit through agriculture development, employment, and food security. 

 “Coastal embankments are an integral part of the disaster risk reduction program for Bangladesh,” said Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Government of Bangladesh. “This project will upgrade them systematically to protect thousands whose lives and livelihoods are now at risk.”

The Coastal Embankment Improvement Project I contributes to the government’s longer term program to upgrade the whole coastal embankment system. If the project proves successful, investment support could be scaled up.

Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Secretary, Economic Relations Division and Christine E. Kimes, Acting Head of the World Bank Bangladesh Country Office, signed on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively at the External Relations Division.

The credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm, has 40 years to maturity, including a 10-year grace period; and carries a service charge of 0.75%.