The World Bank (WB) yesterday committed to providing Bangladesh with $2 billion over the next three years in fresh funding to help the nation tackle and adapt the negative impacts of climate change.
“Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change and we must do all we can to support the government in its efforts to adapt to this growing threat,” said WB Group President Jim Yong Kim making the announcement at a press conference.
The WB, which provided Bangladesh more than $24 billion in financing in the last 45 years, organised the press meet to share Kim's experience during the two-day visit in Bangladesh, first by a WB president in nearly a decade.
During the visit, Kim marked the End Poverty Day in Dhaka on October 17 and met with top policymakers, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Finance Minister AMA Muhith.
In his first trip to Bangladesh, Kim also visited rural communities, schools cum cyclone shelters and some rural houses lighted by solar power in the southern region.
“I met with people today [yesterday] who talked about the threats of cyclones and flooding,” he said making the pledge of financing for tackling climate change.
The $2 billion pledge for climate change mitigation is in addition to $1 billion pledged by Kim on October 17 to end childhood stunting in Bangladesh.
Both amounts are contingent on a successful replenishment of the International Development Association, the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries, which should be agreed in December, said the WB.
At the press conference, Kim said he is very impressed to see Bangladesh's innovation in fighting poverty, empowering women and battling climate change.
He also praised the security measures provided to him and his colleagues during his visit and said every country faces the threats of terrorism.
“There is no single country in the world, no matter how wealthy it is, that is free from threats of terrorism,” he said.
“We see it in the United States, Belgium and France and of course there was a great tragedy that occurred here last summer in Bangladesh. I can just tell you that the security I received during my visit was extremely impressive,” said Kim, responding to a question from the media.