The World Bank on Friday approved US$250 million financing for Bangladesh aimed at recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
A WB news release issued from Washington said this financing would help Bangladesh create more, better, and inclusive jobs and effectively respond to the Covid-19 pandemic for a faster recovery and stronger resilience to future crises.
The amount is the last in a series of three credits under the Third Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit, according to the release.
It is designed to support the government of Bangladesh to develop a stronger policy and institutional framework to modernise the trade and investment regime; improve social protection for workers; and help youth, women and vulnerable population access quality jobs.
“Job creation remains central to Bangladesh’s development objectives. While Bangladesh has had strong economic growth in recent years, the pace of job creation has slowed, especially in the manufacturing sector. The Covid-19 pandemic increased the challenges, and the poor and women were hardest hit,” said WB Country Director Mercy Tembon.
“This financing will help Bangladesh create more and better jobs and expand support for both formal and informal workers affected by Covid-19 crisis.”
This financing, the news release said, would support the government in its efforts to protect the earnings of workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis and enable firms to continue paying their workers’ wages.
It is also expected to support informal micro-entrepreneurs in recovering from the shock by extending micro-finance facilities.
Overall, it will support government programmes to protect over five million jobs as part of the government’s near-term response to the crisis, while laying the groundwork to accelerate recovery and build resilience, added the release.
This programme, according to the WB, will help streamline business and investment services, reducing the cost of starting a business. Further, it supports reforms to align the skills development sector with labour-market demands.
“Although income and job losses due to the pandemic impacted people from all walks of life, women are most at risk of exiting the job market,” said Task Team Leader for the project AlineCoudouel.
“This series of programs promoted quality daycare for children in a bid to bring more women to the job market and supported actions to create a more inclusive labor market, for women, youth, and migrants.”
With this programme, the total World Bank’s financing to the Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit series stands at $750 million.