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Government and World Bank Hold Joint Portfolio Review to Increase Disbursements and Achieve Greater Development Impact

March 30, 2013

Dhaka, March 30, 2013 - The disbursement of the World Bank financing for Annual Development Program has witnessed an upward trend in the last four years. The World Bank disbursement for the current financial year is $437 million (till February 28, 2013). For the similar period, the disbursement in FY12 was $283.5 million. To further enhance project implementation and disbursement rates, the government of Bangladesh and the World Bank today jointly completed a portfolio review of selected World Bank-supported operations in Bangladesh.

The World Bank’s current portfolio in Bangladesh consists of 36 projects with a commitment of $4.5 billion. Out of these 36 projects, the government and the World Bank today reviewed 13 projects which are 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.

In addition to concrete actions, the joint review decided that in a number of cases readjustment and restructuring of project designs would be required to achieve greater development results. The government and the World Bank agreed to work to restructure the following projects – Dhaka Sanitation and Water Supply, Chittagong Sanitation and Water Supply, Private Sector Development Support, Clean Air and Sustainable Environment, Second Notun Jibon, Emergency Cyclone Restoration and Recovery, Disability and Children at Risk, and Skills and Training Enhancement.

The World Bank is proud to partner with the government of Bangladesh over the last 40 years. We are encouraged to see results in many areas that have transformed the lives of millions of people in the country.” said Christine Kimes, Acting Country Head, World Bank Bangladesh. “At the same time, the speed and quality of implementation needs to be improved in others to achieve results. Today’s joint review came up with pragmatic solutions for speeding up implementation for slow moving projects.”

Two projects that are coming to a close in 2013 -- namely ‘Reaching Out of School Children Project’ (ROSC) and ‘National Agriculture Technology Project’ (NATP) – were reviewed in order to discuss ways to manage an effective closing along with ensuring full documentation of development results. ROSC has provided access to primary schooling for more than 798,000 disadvantaged children, and NATP has improved effectiveness of the technology used in agriculture to increase productivity and farm income, with a particular focus on small and marginal farms.

The portfolio review of selected projects with the line ministries and World Bank demonstrates the Government’s strong commitment to faster and more effective implementation of the Annual Development Plan,” said Arastoo Khan, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Government of Bangladesh.

The World Bank support has helped Bangladesh to achieve remarkable progress in many areas such as increasing school enrolment, improving health status, expanding renewable energy access, and providing rural roads and water supply. Since independence, the World Bank has provided more than $16 billion support to Bangladesh and helped the country to significantly reduce poverty and boost human development.

Media Contacts
In Dhaka
Mehrin Mahbub
Tel : (+880-2) 8159001
In Washington
Gabriela Aguilar
Tel : +1 (202) 473-8955