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World Bank Grants $500 Million to Bangladesh For Cross Country Road Projects

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WB approves $500m to B''desh for road connectivityOn June 23, 2020, World Bank (WB), an international financial institution, has sanctioned $ 500 million for “Western Economic Corridor and Regional Enhancement (WeCARE) Phase I project” to improve road connectivity in Bangladesh’s Jashore-Jhenaidah corridor, which consists of four western districts to connect with the capital Dhaka as well as with India and Bhutan.

WeCARE Phase I project:

  • It is a $1.4bn programme to convert the 110km long two-lane road, Bhomra-Satkhira-Navaron & Jahore-Jhenaidah, to a four-lane highway in western Bangladesh.
  • In the first phase of the project, a 48km section of the N7 highway between Jashore and Jhenaidah will be upgraded & Rehabilitation of around 600km of rural roads and 32 rural markets / growth centres are also part of the work package.     
  • Besides, In order to help achieve the goal of Digital Bangladesh, the project will also include fiber optic cable on the side of the highway, so that people can get internet facility at a lower cost.
  • Overall, the project will support the Bangladesh government’s plan to develop a 260-km economic corridor in the western part of the country and benefit more than two crore people in the area, accelerate the economy of the districts, connect farms to markets, connect the western region as well as Dhaka with neighboring countries.

Benefits: The project will create employment for local communities through connecting rural roads to the market and civil work for national highways.

Background: The World Bank is one of the first development partners to support Bangladesh after independence. Bangladesh currently has the largest World Bank IDA (International Development Association) program of over $13.5 billion. Since Bangladesh gained independence, the WB has shown commitment to repay over 31 billion dollars in grants, interest-free and concessional loans.

About World Bank:
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
President– David Malpass

About Bangladesh:
Capital– Dhaka
Currency– Bangladeshi taka
President– Abdul Hamid
Prime Minister– Sheikh Hasina