Martin Raiser, the World Bank vice president for South Asia, has reaffirmed the global lender’s “continued support” to Bangladesh.
The Washington-based global lender issued a statement after Raiser concluded his second visit to Bangladesh on Monday as the country sought additional support from it.
Recently, Bangladesh agreed an initial agreement with the International Monetary Fund for $4.5 billion loans to prevent a full-blown economic crisis while it is already struggling to tackle the challenges created by the Russia-Ukraine war.
Earlier, experts said the deal with the IMF will help widen the country’s access to credit from other agencies or countries.
After meeting Raiser on Sunday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said Bangladesh expects $500 million additional budget support from the World Bank on top of $1 billion it secured between April 2019 and April 2022.
On the final day of his visit, Raiser met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and thanked her for the country’s leading role in climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness, the World Bank said.
“The World Bank is proud to be a part of Bangladesh’s tremendous development journey for the past 50 years. Bangladesh provides valuable insights and important lessons in rapid poverty reduction and sustained growth for many other countries around the world,” said Raiser.
The World Bank said Raiser discussed policy measures to mitigate recent global shocks and build economic resilience with the finance minister and Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder.
They also discussed the World Bank’s support for Bangladesh’s development priorities. Raiser was accompanied by Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank’s incoming country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, who will assume his position on Jan 1, 2023.
‘The war in Ukraine, the impacts of the COVID pandemic, and the climate crisis have created unprecedented challenges for the global economy. Every country is struggling to cope, and Bangladesh is no exception,” said Raiser.
“Bangladesh can sustain rapid growth by strengthening macro, fiscal and financial sector reform and continuing investment in human capital and climate resilience. We are ready to lend our full support to these efforts at this challenging time.”