WB President Kim announces $2 billion to tackle climate change in Bangladesh

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Dhaka, October 18: The World Bank (WB) president on Tuesday announced a major investment to help Bangladesh adapt to climate change.

Jim Yong Kim, at a press briefing on Tuesday, said the bank would invest $2 billion in the next three years for climate change projects.

This is his second investment announcement to Bangladesh during the two-day visit.

A South Korean-American physician and anthropologist, Kim is the 12th president of the World Bank, and the first without a formal background in finance or banking.

He came to Dhaka on Sunday to see firsthand Bangladesh’s success stories in ending poverty.

This visit is also seen by many including officials of the Bank as smoothing out strained relations with Bangladesh over Padma Bridge financing.

He met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Finance Minister AMA Muhith and spoke at the joint World Poverty Eradication day observance with the Bangladesh government. He also visited southern Barisal district to see World Bank funded projects.

On Monday, he lauded Bangladesh’s “extraordinary accomplishment” in reducing poverty, and said this “impressive” record of economic growth and investments in people occurred despite many challenges.

Bangladesh, for instance, is exceptionally vulnerable to severe cyclones, accounting for 70 percent of all storm surges in the world, he said.

“But with active community participation, Bangladesh has adapted to climate threats, putting in place early warning systems, cyclone shelters, evacuation plans, coastal embankments, and reforestation schemes”.

On Monday he also announced to invest up to $1 billion to address malnourishment among children.

He believes that Bangladesh can reach its goals to become a middle-income country by 2021 and to end extreme poverty by 2030.

But for that, he had said the country must sustain its economic growth, create more and better jobs, focus on energy and transport infrastructure, make progress on improving the quality of health and education, and improving governance, including strengthening anti-corruption measures.

Kim will leave Dhaka on Tuesday.

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