Green growth key to Bangladesh’s future

16 Jul 19

Bangladesh can realise its development ambition to become an upper-middle income country through green growth, says the World Bank.

The multilateral organisation believes other countries can also learn from the adaptation and disaster-coping mechanisms established by Dhaka.

The bank says “climate-smart growth” is the key to the future in a country that is among those most vulnerable globally to climate change.

“The world can learn from Bangladesh’s adaptation and strong disaster-coping mechanisms,” said Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank’s chief executive.

“Their approach is working when we compare recent and past natural disasters: Cyclone Bhola in 1970 killed half a million people while last May Cyclone Fani, of similar strength caused less than 10.

“But climate change will make the threat of natural disasters more frequent and intense. The World Bank remains committed to help Bangladesh improve resilience and ensure climate-smart growth.”

Georgieva was speaking at the third executive meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation in Dhaka where she commended Bangladesh for its leading role in adaptation and disaster preparedness.

Dealing with climate change is a development priority for the country, which is prone to natural disasters.

It has placed significant emphasis on community participation in its efforts to improve defensive measures, including early warning systems, cyclone shelters that double up as schools, evacuation plans, coastal embankments, and reforestation schemes.

During her visit, Georgieva commended the country’s “remarkable” progress in economic development and poverty reduction.

The World Bank has committed more than $30bn to Bangladesh since it gained its independence, mostly in grants and interest-free credits.

Among projects being supported by the Washington-based organisation is an initiative that has enrolled 690,000 poor and out-of-school children – half of whom are girls – in schools.

The project has been expanded to 11 city corporations in order to help children in the slums and is also providing learning opportunities to Rohingya children.

  • Gavin O'Toole, expert on Latin America
    Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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