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The Financial Express

WB provides $350 million for locals, Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar

Published: April 01, 2020 12:44:50 | Updated: April 01, 2020 16:20:31


Rohingya refugees gather at a market inside a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on March 7, 2019 — Reuters/Files Rohingya refugees gather at a market inside a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on March 7, 2019 — Reuters/Files

The World Bank has approved $350 million in grant financing for three projects to help Bangladesh cope with one of the world’s largest forced exoduses.

These grants will help Bangladesh address the needs of the host communities and displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district for health services, response to gender-based violence, social protection, basic services and infrastructure, said the lending agency in a media release issued from Washington.

“Bangladesh has shown great leadership by providing shelter to around 1.1 million Rohingyas, which is about three times of the local population in Teknaf and Ukhiya upazilas. Naturally, this has placed immense strain on existing infrastructure and social service delivery, and increased health and disaster risks,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

“The three grants will cater to the needs of both the host and Rohingya communities. At the same time, they will strengthen the country’s service delivery capacity and increase resilience to natural disaster and climate change.”

The $150 million Health and Gender Support Project for Cox’s Bazar District will enable 3.6 million people, including Rohingyas, to have access to health, nutrition, and family planning services as well as address gender-based violence through preventive and response services, according to a UNB report Wednesday.

The infant mortality rate and prevalence of stunting in Cox’s Bazar is higher than national average.

The project will renovate and upgrade health facilities in Cox’s Bazar, including Sadar Hospital and the Mother and Child Welfare Centres in the localities; and the Women Friendly Spaces inside the Rohingya camps.

The project will also help fill in vacant positions of health professionals and ensure adequate medical supplies. Within the Rohingya camps, the project will provide psychosocial counseling, immunisation, Tuberculosis screening and treatment and nutrition services.

The $100 million additional financing to the Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project will scale up access to energy, water, sanitation and disaster-resilient infrastructures for the Rohingya and the surrounding host communities.

The project will benefit about 780,800 people, including 140,800 local people with better public infrastructure.

This includes access to improved water sources for 365,800 people and better sanitation for 171,800 people.

It will help build 40 multi-purpose disaster shelters, accessible to 81,000 people.

The project will also support renewable energy systems using solar photovoltaic nano-grid schemes to increase access to clean electricity and install around 4,000 solar street lights, 975 lightning protection systems and build 250 km of climate resilient roads.

It will also help government agencies to strengthen institutional systems and capacities to plan, coordinate and respond to crisis and emergencies.

The $100 million additional financing to the Safety Net Systems for the Poorest Project will help provide livelihoods and income support to poor and vulnerable households in the host communities using an existing national safety net program, Employment Generation Program for the Poorest; and scale-up social assistance coverage to the Rohingya under the Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project.

The additional financing will benefit 40,000 host community households and 85,000 Rohingya households.

With these three grants, the World Bank has provided a total of $480 million in grants to enable Bangladesh to deal with the displaced population inflow.

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