Govt, WB sign $165m deal to improve service delivery for Rohingyas


Dhaka, May 08: The government of Bangladesh today signed a US$165 million grant financing agreement with the World Bank (WB) to provide basic services and build disaster and social resilience for the Rohingyas who fled to Cox’s Bazar due to violence in Myanmar.

The agreement was signed by Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh Dandan Chen on behalf of the government and the World Bank, respectively, at the ERD in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

To help Bangladesh deal with world’s fastest growing exodus, the Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project will build 53 multi-purpose disaster shelters in and around the camps, pave more than 200-km of roads, provide water and sanitation services for around 200,000 people and set up 1,500 solar street lights.

The project will also strengthen emergency response services, provide community works and services and prevent gender-based violence.

“Under the leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister, the Bangladesh government has provided shelter to the Forcibly Displaced Rohingya Population (FDRP). But, this has placed enormous strain on our resources and infrastructure,” said ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed.

“We are happy that the World Bank has joined hands with grant support to build disaster resilience and basic infrastructure and improve service delivery for FDRP,” he added.

“The government and people of Bangladesh have generously provided shelter to about a million Rohingya refugees but the needs of both the Rohingya and the host community are huge,” said Dandan Chen, World Bank acting country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

“This project addresses the current refugee crisis but goes further to help strengthen the government’s overall capacity to plan, coordinate and respond to emergencies,” the World Bank official added.

According to the ERD and the World Bank, more than half of the Rohingya population is women and girls and many were exposed to gender-based violence before coming to Bangladesh. The services delivered under the project will focus on women and children as key beneficiaries and will include measures to prevent gender-based violence.

The project will build gender-friendly public spaces. All facilities including water and sanitation and cyclone shelters will cater to the needs of women, children and disabled individuals. The street lights will improve the safety for women.

This is the third in a series of planned financings of approximately half a billion dollars announced by the World Bank in June 2018. Earlier, the World Bank has committed a US$75 million grant that includes a US$13 million grant from Canada to provide for the health and learning needs of the Rohingya.

The World Bank is helping the host communities with about US$200 million support in Cox’s Bazar through ongoing projects: disaster preparedness including building and rehabilitating cyclone shelters, basic infrastructures and governance in union parishads, pourasabhas and municipal areas, social protection and safety net programmes and collaborative forest management and income generation opportunities for the host communities.