Project Signing: World Bank financing to help 90 million Bangladeshis to get National Identification Cards

July 21, 2011

DHAKA, July 21, 2011 - The Government of Bangladesh today signed a US$ 195 million financing agreement with the World Bank for the “Identification System for Enhanced Access to Services (IDEA) Project’.  The project will support the Government to develop a secure, accurate and reliable national identification (ID) system which will serve as the basis for a more efficient and transparent service delivery.

The IDEA project will enhance the functionality of the existing national ID system through improved infrastructure, expanded data collection, and the provision of reliable, quick identity verification services to public and private entities.  The project will produce and distribute new national identity cards to an estimated 90 million citizens of 18 years and above and will have robust security features to provide protection from fraud and forgery.

‘A comprehensive and secure national identification system makes access to services easier and simpler for the citizens. It also makes it possible for the public and private agencies to identify and verify citizens quickly and accurately for more transparent and efficient service delivery’, said Tahseen Sayed, Acting Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh. ‘The system will provide a powerful tool for multiple agencies to improve their systems for targeting and tracking delivery of services, particularly social benefits.'

The National ID system’s verification services will streamline transactions in the public and private sector.  Public sector functions such as tax administration, land administration, and utility databases will have a tool to avoid duplication and create more accurate databases of clients and users.  The private sector will also benefit from the system. Private entities such as banks and mobile companies will be able to provide faster and more efficient services as identification and verification of clients will be easier. The database will be linked to at least two key pilot services in public and private sector within the next five years.

The project will be a further step forward towards realizing the Government’s Digital Bangladesh agenda, which envisions mainstreaming of information technology as a pro-poor tool to reduce poverty and establish good governance,’ said Arastoo Khan, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division. 'Both the public and private sector will be able to verify information at their fingertips and increase efficiency and transparency in their service delivery.’

Mr. Arastoo Khan, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division and Ms. Tahseen Sayed, Acting Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh signed on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively, at the Economic Relations Division.

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


Media Contacts
In Washington
Benjamin Crow
Tel : (202) 473-5105
In Dhaka
Mehrin A. Mahbub
Tel : (880-2) 8159001