The government on Thursday signed two financing agreements totalling to $200 million with the World Bank, aiming to improve health services and the living condition of urban poor in selected municipality areas. Economic Relations Division (ERD) Additional Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and Acting World Bank country director Zahid Hussain signed the agreements at the Economic Relations Division on behalf of the government and the World Bank respectively. Dhaka, UNB News Agency Reported.
The credits from the World Bank’s International Development Association, its grant to low-interest loan arm, have a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent. The $150 million additional financing to the Health Sector Development Program will continue to support the government to mitigate health sector challenges, including sustaining and improving immunization coverage; further improving deliveries for pregnant women at public health facilities; tackling multi-drug resistant tuberculosis; and, strengthening health systems.
“These two financings will help Bangladesh improve the lives and living standards of its population. The additional financing for the Health Sector Development Program will contribute to building a healthy nation, in particular, the financing will enable the poor access better health services,” said Zahid Hussain, Acting World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh.
“With about half a million new people arriving in the cities every year, the urban infrastructure, particularly housing is under immense pressure. The Low Income Community Housing Support project will take an innovative approach to address housing issues among the urban poor,” he added. The $50 million Low Income Community Housing Support Project will pilot a community-driven approach to improve the living conditions of the urban poor in selected municipalities.
Around 40,000 low-income urban residents will have access to housing loans, while another 120,000 people will benefit from the improved roads and drainage.