870Published on May 2, 2023
As a long-standing partner, World Bank Group President David Malpass has said that they will support Bangladesh as it navigates a challenging global environment on its way to reaching upper-middle-income status by 2031.
“I am confident that with the right set of policies and timely action, Bangladesh can achieve its growth aspirations,” he said while speaking at the celebration of 50 years of partnership with Bangladesh on May 1.
The World Bank president said Bangladesh’s remarkable journey was made possible by the indomitable energy and resilience of its people and a national will to build a prosperous nation.
Following the celebration, Malpass also tweeted: “Many countries can learn from Bangladesh’s innovative approaches to reducing poverty, empowering women, and adapting to climate change.”
“We are proud of our partnership and look forward to opening the next chapter together with you,” he said at the celebration, addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Three lessons stand out from Bangladesh’s development experience and can inspire other countries: empowering women and girls, investing in people and connectivity, and moving decisively on climate adaptation and resilience, said the World Bank President.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and World Bank Group President David Malpass celebrated 50 years of partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank at the institution’s headquarters in Washington DC.
The partnership has helped lift millions of Bangladeshis out of poverty and supported the country’s economic growth and development.
The World Bank is providing Bangladesh with $2.25 billion of financing to improve regional connectivity, boost disaster preparedness to address inland flooding, transition to green and climate-resilient development, strengthen environmental management and green investment, and help the micro-enterprise sector become less polluting and more climate-resilient.
Since its independence in 1971, Bangladesh has transformed from one of the poorest countries to achieving lower-middle income status in 2015. The country is now among the world’s fastest-growing economies.
“In 1971, when Bangladesh was born, many development experts were sceptical about the country’s future. The aspirations germinated by our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and, our people have shown the world that with determination, it is possible to overcome even the hardest challenges. Bangladesh has transformed its economy and made it more resilient as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“The journey was not always easy, but we have never lost courage. In the past 50 years, the World Bank remained a steadfast development partner and supported our aspirations. We hope to work together with the World Bank as Bangladesh progresses to achieve higher-income country status by 2041,” she said.
Malpass reaffirmed the World Bank’s strong support for Bangladesh and its people as the country navigates unprecedented global challenges.
“As Bangladesh’s largest development partner, we welcome its progress in income growth and poverty reduction. We are committed to continuing our support to enable the private sector, create new job opportunities, broaden the tax base, strengthen the financial sector, and build the country’s resilience to economic and climate shocks,” said Malpass.
“Many countries can learn from Bangladesh’s development successes. The country stands out for its innovative approaches to reducing poverty in record time, empowering women, achieving wide-spread electricity access, and adapting to climate change,” he added.
The Prime Minister and the World Bank President inaugurated a multimedia photo exhibition depicting Bangladesh’s development story over the past five decades and joined a seminar to reflect on 50 years of partnership.
The World bank President also thanked the Prime Minister and the Bangladeshi people for hosting the displaced Rohingya people.
Bangladesh’s provision of shelter to more than 1.1 million Rohingya who fled from violence in Myanmar since 2017 saved thousands of lives.
“We will continue to work with you in providing support to the Rohingya,” he said, adding that the World Bank has mobilized US$590 million in grant financing, with support from Canada and in close collaboration with the UN family and others, to help provide local communities in Cox’s Bazar, and the displaced Rohingya population, with healthcare, education, basic services, and infrastructure.
“Several steps can improve the sustainability and impact of the programs: enhanced livelihood and education opportunities, resilient shelters, stronger inclusion of the Rohingyas into the national systems for service delivery, and leveraging government investments on the island of Bhasan Char,” the World bank President said.