Dhaka, March 11, 2014: 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 $512 million (till February 28, 2014) which is higher compared to previous years. To further enhance the pace of project implementation and accelerate disbursements, the government of Bangladesh and the World Bank jointly completed a portfolio review of World Bank’s selected operations in Bangladesh.
The World Bank’s current portfolio in Bangladesh consists of 31 IDA projects and 12 Trust Fund projects with a total commitment of $7 billion. The government and the World Bank concluded a two-day review of 22 projects, including a mix of Internationa Development Association-supported projects as well as Trust Funded operations, a diverse group of sectors and performance trends. The review highlighted the successes of high performing projects, monitored lessons learned from projects nearing completion, addressed implementation arrangements for projects that have been recently restructured, reviewed key implementation challenges for slow moving projects, and agreed time-bound action plans with a view to improve performance and accelerate disbursements.
“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 E. Kimes, operations Adviser, World Bank Bangladesh “At the same time, the speed and quality of implementation needs to be improved in others to achieve results. During the joint review, we highlighted the successes of well performing projects and came up with pragmatic solutions for speeding up implementation of slow moving projects.”
The meeting discussions brought together project directors, line ministry representatives, Economic Relations Division Officers and World Bank staff including Bangladesh Country Director Johannes Zutt. Officials from the Ministry of Finance, Planning Commission, Prime Minister’s Office, Bangladesh Bank, Department of Public Health Engineering, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Water Resources, University Grants Commission, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, participated at the meeting.
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, and providing infrastructure like rural roads and water supply. Since independence, the World Bank has provided more than $17 billion support to Bangladesh and helped the country to significantly reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity.