DHAKA, July 3, 2018—World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today said Bangladesh needs more support from the world to help close to a million Rohingya refugees driven by violence from Myanmar as he concluded a two-day visit to the country with the United Nations Secretary-General.
President Kim, along with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, visited the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar, the largest and most densely populated refugee settlement in the world.
“I saw firsthand the sheer scale of the crisis. I spoke with women and men who have faced extreme hardships, and yet they stand resolute—waiting for a chance to return to their village. The Government of Bangladesh has done the world a great service by keeping its borders open and supporting the refugees. But much more needs to be done. With the continuing monsoon rains and forthcoming cyclones, risks of natural disasters and disease outbreaks are increasing. The international community needs to step up support,” said Kim.
Kim and Guterres interacted with Rohingya women and men and visited the transit camp, health centers, and women-friendly spaces. In Cox’s Bazar, the Rohingya number more than twice the local population, which is putting pressure on infrastructure and services.
On Sunday, Kim met with the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister and other senior government officials of Bangladesh. While commending Bangladesh for its generosity in providing refuge for the Rohingya people, he emphasized the World Bank’s commitment to help the host community and the refugees.
“The World Bank will help Bangladesh sustain its impressive development progress while managing the dire situation created by this large influx. We have mobilized $480 million grant-based support, which will help build country capacity to deal with the crisis,” he said.
As he concluded the visit, he said: “Bangladesh has an inspiring development story: it has emerged as a global leader in reducing poverty and creating opportunities for all. The World Bank considers Bangladesh an important partner in reducing global poverty. We are firm on our commitment to enhance support to help Bangladesh achieve its aspiration of becoming an upper-middle income country.”
World Bank support to Bangladesh has expanded: in the last five years, financing to the country has more than doubled. This year it reached a record high commitment of $3. billion.
The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh following its independence. Since then, the World Bank has committed more than $29 billion in grants and interest-free credits to the country.