DHAKA, September 22, 2018 — World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region, Hartwig Schafer, arrives in Dhaka tomorrow to further deepen the longstanding partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank Group and to discuss how to help the country cope with the Rohingya crisis. This is Schafer’s first visit to Bangladesh since assuming his position on July 1, 2018.
“Bangladesh has a remarkable story of cutting extreme poverty to half in record time. Other countries can learn from Bangladesh’s many development innovations and successes. I look forward to meet our partners and see firsthand the country’s journey to economic growth,” said Schafer. “Despite its own challenges, Bangladesh has shown great generosity by sheltering nearly one million Rohingya people. The World Bank is working closely with the government to help address the needs of the Rohingya until their safe return to Myanmar and help build the country’s capacity to deal with the crisis.”
During the visit, Schafer will visit the Rohingya camps and meet with local government officials, civil society and non-governmental organization representatives in Cox’s Bazar. The World Bank has mobilized up to $400 million on grant terms to help Bangladesh deal with the crisis. It has approved the first two operations—totaling about $75 million in grants—to provide health services and education to the Rohingya, many of whom are children, youth or women.
Schafer will also meet with senior government officials, including the Finance Minister, the Water Resource Minister as well as the private sector and civil society leaders. He will participate in the launch of a new World Bank report, “South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards.” He will also visit a World Bank supported project, which is upgrading a unit in the Ghorashal power station to more than double the unit’s electricity generation capacity.
Before joining the South Asia Region, Schafer served as the Vice President for Global Themes and as Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services. He led several key reforms, including the rollout of the World Bank’s new policies on procurement, environmental and social safeguards, and innovation of the Bank’s lending and knowledge instruments.
Previously, Schafer served as the World Bank’s Country Director for Djibouti, Egypt, and Yemen.
Background: 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. In Financial Year 2018, World Bank committed a record high $3 billion support to Bangladesh.