WASHINGTON, October 11, 2017 – Bangladesh today asked the World Bank for support to cope with hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, and the World Bank said it is ready to move with a program of support for the government, host communities, and the refugees.
While Bangladesh has kept its doors open to the refugee influx, its ability to provide for them has been stretched, as the country struggles with its own poverty challenges. The value of the World Bank investment has yet to be decided but the program of support could include expanding access to health, education, water, sanitation, and roads.
“The situation has affected Bangladesh greatly and is still evolving with new refugees arriving every day,” said Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. “We are especially thankful for the strength and generosity of the Bangladeshi people. However, the scale of the needs requires a global humanitarian and development response, and we look forward to the World Bank’s support.”
The Government of Bangladesh can tap into a new and innovative World Bank financing instrument, the special window for refugees of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest.
“We appreciate that Bangladesh is supporting the Rohingya people as it works diligently to reduce poverty and increase prosperity,” said Annette Dixon, Vice President at the World Bank for the South Asia Region. “While we hope the refugees can safely return home soon, it is important that the international community support them and the host communities in the near term with basic services. We will do everything we can to provide that support.”