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Deal for $165m WB assistance for Rohingyas today

Deal for $165m WB assistance for Rohingyas today

DHAKA: The World Bank (WB) will provide $165 million assistance to help Bangladesh provide basic services and build disaster and social resilience for the Rohingyas who fled violence in Myanmar and sought shelter in Teknaf and Ukhia Upazila of Cox’s Bazar.

The Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project will help Bangladesh cope with the world’s fastest growing exodus, where the Rohingyas outnumbered the local community more than threefold in the Teknaf and Ukhia Upazilas.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Dandan Chen will sign the agreement on behalf of their respective sides today (Wednesday) at 2 pm at the NEC II Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area, said an ERD official.

The official said the project will help build and rehabilitate basic infrastructures, improve community resilience and help prevent gender-based violence.

This includes building a water supply system comprising of community standpoints, rainwater harvesting, and piped water supply systems as well as improve sanitation facilities.

“The project will also build and improve multipurpose cyclone shelters, roads, footpaths, drains, culverts, bridges and install solar street lights inside the camps,” added the official.

Earlier during the approval of the fund in March this year, Dandan Chen said Bangladesh had shown great generosity by sheltering and providing for a nearly a million Rohingya people, despite its own development challenges.

“The influx has placed enormous pressure on local infrastructure, services and public resources. This project will contribute to improving basic public infrastructure and living conditions in the congested camp. Moreover, through our existing and new projects, we are helping the local population,” added the World Bank official.

The Rohingyas are living in extremely congested conditions in Cox Bazar, an area that is prone to weather shocks. The project will respond to natural disaster shocks and gender-based violence through strengthened government systems.

According to the ERD, the project service deliveries will focus on women and children, including interventions to prevent gender-based violence. Water and sanitation facilities will target women, children and disabled individuals and the street lights will contribute to better safety.

In this project, all facilities are designed as women-friendly. Cyclone shelters and water and sanitation facilities will cater to the needs of women and children and the street lights will ensure better safety. The project will also have gender-friendly spaces and community services will be targeted at women and adolescent girls.

This is the third in a series of planned financings of approximately half a billion dollars announced by the World Bank in June 2018. Earlier the World Bank has committed a $75 million grant to provide for the health and learning needs of the Rohingyas.

The World Bank is helping the host communities with about $200 million support in Cox’s Bazar through ongoing projects: disaster preparedness including building and rehabilitating cyclone shelters, improving basic infrastructures and governance in union parishads, pourashabhas, and municipal areas; social protection; and, collaborative forest management and income generation opportunities for the host communities.

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