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World Bank grants Bangladesh $200 mln for youth, migrants

World Bank grants Bangladesh $200 mln for youth, migrants

The financing from the World Bank, an international body, aimed to address the needs of urban youth and migrants to improve earning, resiliency amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters has learned.

The Bangladeshi urban youths and involuntary home returnees will be supported financially with the help of the World Bank. On Wednesday, the financial body has approved $200 million to help improve daily life and open some perspectives for people in need. Earning opportunities and resiliency in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic remain key aspects.

The Bangladeshi project called “Recovery and Advancement of Informal Sector Employment” aimed to help about 175,000 poor urban youth and low-income micro-entrepreneurs enhance their access to employment and productivity.

“To help about 200,000 eligible migrants who had been forced to return since January 2020 either sustainably reintegrate into the domestic labor market or prepare for re-migration, the project will provide cash grants, counseling, and referrals to relevant services based on their needs and aspirations,” the WB statement reads.

Over the years, international migration and the urban informal sector have played a central role in the Asian country’s remarkable success in reducing poverty. Despite the governmental efforts, both sectors were almost ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, $200 million will help workers to overcome the current difficulties and to facilitate resilient post-pandemic growth.

The project will set up 32 district welfare centres, and it will also support upgrading and integration of information systems that will streamline social protection service delivery for aspiring, current, and returning migrants.

According to the UN, Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA program, totalling over $13.5 billion.