World Bank to provide $480m grant to Bangladesh to help Rohingya


Rohingya refugees gather near the fence in the "no man's land" between Myanmar and Bangladesh border as seen from Maungdaw, Rakhine state, on June 29, 2018. Phyo Hein Kyaw/AFP

DHAKA - The World Bank (WB) will provide US$480 million in grant-based support to help Bangladesh address the needs of Rohingya refugees. 

The fund will be used in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, disaster risk management and social protection of the Rohingya refugees, according to a WB statement issued from Washington on June 28.

The World Bank Board of Directors has approved a $50 million additional grant for an existing Health Sector Support Project in Bangladesh which is the first in a series that could total as much as $480 million, it added.

The WB also said it will help the Rohingya people receive maternal, neonatal, infant, child and adolescent health and nutrition services, as well as reproductive healthcare and family planning support.

“Bangladesh has shown great leadership in this evolving humanitarian crisis by providing refuge for the Rohingya people,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in the statement.

This grant allows the World Bank Group, working in collaboration with the Government of Canada, to support these efforts, he added.

“We’re deeply moved by the suffering of the Rohingya people and stand ready to help them until they can return home in a safe, voluntary, and dignified manner,” the World Bank chief noted.

On the other hand, Finance Minister of Bangladesh AMA Muhith said: “Bangladesh has sheltered the Rohingya people fleeing from violence in Myanmar because it is the right thing to do for fellow human beings. But their needs are enormous and the world needs to step up support.”

He also added: “We’re committed to addressing the basic needs of these unfortunate refugees.”

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim along with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres are set to visit Bangladesh today for a two-day visit to assess the severity of the crisis and discuss what more can be done.

They will visit the Rohingya settlements in Cox’s Bazar and meet with Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, Finance Minister AMA Muhith, other senior government officials, and representatives of civil society and other partners.

Since August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya people have taken shelter in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh, making it the world’s largest and fastest growing refugee camp.

It is also putting pressure on the environment, existing infrastructure, and social services that were already constrained, the WB added.

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