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World Bank pledges $2b for climate smart growth

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World Bank pledges $2b for climate smart growth

Thereport24.com Desk:

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has pledged US$2 billion over the next three years in new funding to help Bangladesh become less vulnerable to climate change.

The $2 billion pledge in new money for climate change is in addition to $1 billion pledged by Kim on Monday to end childhood stunting in Bangladesh.

Both amounts are contingent on a successful replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries, which should be agreed in December.

"Bangladesh is among the countries most at risk from the impacts of climate change. We must confront climate change now as it hits the poor the hardest," Kim told a press conference in the capital on Tusday concluding his two-day visit to Bangladesh.

Kim made the pledge after touring schools that double as cyclone shelters during major storms. On the last and second day of his visit today, the WB chief also visited rural communities in more remote locations that are enjoying the benefits of electricity in their homes and shops through solar systems as part of the country's green-growth agenda.

"Bangladesh has been a forerunner in adaptation and stronger disaster-coping mechanisms and these have reduced the impact of recent storms, cyclones, and floods. And the World Bank Group plans to help Bangladesh become even more resilient to climate change," he said while speaking at the press conference at the WB office here.

"I have greatly enjoyed my two days in Bangladesh, and I have learned many things about your history and your dreams for the future. My team at the World Bank Group and I look forward to doing all we can to support Bangladesh's development priorities, reducing poverty further, creating more and better jobs, and working to build a more vibrant sector that invests in this country," he added.

Bangladesh, with active community participation, has improved defensive measures, including early warning systems, cyclone shelters, evacuation plans, coastal embankments, reforestation schemes and increased awareness and communication. These measures have reduced deaths in major storms.

"The dramatic decline in deaths demonstrates that Bangladesh's adaptation measures do work," said Kim.

"I'm most impressed by the resilience of the people of Bangladesh at a time when climate change puts their lives and livelihoods at risk. Their determination to provide their children with better opportunities underpins Bangladesh's powerful development story and the country can do even better if it addresses its challenges in climate change, infrastructure, human development, governance, and attracting private sector investments," he added.

On Kim's first day in Bangladesh, he marked End Poverty Day to celebrate the country's achievements in helping millions of people lift themselves out of poverty.

WB's vice president for South Asia Annette Dixon, director of IFC for South Asia Mengistu Alemayehu and WB's country director for Bangladesh Qimiao Fan were present at the press conference.

Ends/thereport24.com/HB/Oct 18, 2016