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WB Loan For Bangladesh To Strengthen Natural Disasters Management

The World Bank and the government of Bangladesh have signed a $140 million credit agreement to improve and strengthen critical disaster prevention infrastructure in the coastal areas of the country, the international lender announced Monday.

The loan for the second additional financing of the Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's grant and low-interest arm.

The original ECRRP covered a portion of recovery and restoration costs, and targeted the most immediate needs in the recovery and restoration of livelihoods and critical infrastructure damaged after Cyclone Sidr in 2007. Additional damage from Cyclone Aila in 2009 necessitated further financing for the existing project to help those affected.

"These recurring natural disasters, with increased severity and unpredictability, remind us that Bangladesh is among the countries most affected by climate change," said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director in Bangladesh.

The additional financing will strengthen the resilience of the coastal area through the construction of 100 new multipurpose cyclone shelters, the rehabilitation of 220 existing multipurpose cyclone shelters, and construction of about 100 km of connecting roads. It will also continue to design projects for long-term disaster risk reduction and continue to support studies for improved disaster resilience.

"We welcome the additional financing as it will support the preparation of a 15-year government program for disaster risk reduction," said Arastoo Khan, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Government of Bangladesh.

Khan and Zutt, signed on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively at the Economic Relations Division premises.

With this second additional financing, the World Bank is providing total support of $324 million for ECRRP. The project also has $25 million support from the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund, $2.96 million from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and $4.86 million from Germany's KfW.

The IDA credit has 40 years to maturity, including a 10-year grace period; and carries a service charge of 0.75%.

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