The World Bank (WB) has approved a $300 million fund to improve the transparency and efficiency of major cash transfer programmes in Bangladesh.
The project aims to benefit about five million of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people, the World Bank said in a statement on Thursday.
The project will shift the operating processes of these programmes from a manual, paper-based system to an automated, integrated system and will ensure greater effectiveness in the overall cash transfer.
Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, “Bangladesh has cut by half the number of people living in extreme poverty. This is a remarkable achievement. Yet many people remain poor and vulnerable.”
“The World Bank is helping the government modernise its safety net programmes by improving pro-poor targeting, streamlining administrative systems, and addressing programme fragmentations. This will help reach people in need and use public resources more effectively,” he said.
The project will help upgrade the social services department’s management information systems. To identify potential recipients of cash transfers, it will integrate the department’s management information system with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics’ national household database.
For more secure and accessible payments to beneficiaries, the system will be linked to payment service providers, according to the statement, reports bdnews24.
The credit is interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, and it will carry a service charge of 0.75 per cent.