Dhaka, Bangladesh
WB lends BD $110m to fund enterprises

Switching to green economy

WB lends BD $110m to fund enterprises

News Report The World Bank will provide Bangladesh US$110 million to help microenterprises adopt cleaner technologies in the manufacturing process, under a greater objective of switchover to greener economy. Such initiative happens to be part of present world's conscious choice of cleaning the production process to rid the globe of growing adversities like storms and surges, floods and droughts by turns and eruption of newer epidemics. Pollution of the environment with industrial exhausts in the old production process is principally blamed on the climate change and its disastrous effects. Against this backdrop, officials said, the project has been undertaken with the multilateral funding agency's funds which will come under an agreement Bangladesh and the World Bank signed Wednesday in Dhaka. The credit will come under a scheme styled Sustainable Enterprise Project, which will help about 20,000 microenterprises in adopting environment-friendly practices in the manufacturing and agribusiness sectors. Beneficiaries will also be encouraged to go for innovative, environmentally sustainable technologies and practices. A survey has found out that half the country's population depends for livelihood on 7.0 million existing microenterprises. But 90 percent of these negatively impact the environment. Conducted in 2014, the survey revealed that only 6.0 percent of microenterprises disposed solid wastes properly. And that leaves a vast majority of the small enterprises that, to varied extent, harm the environs. The WB-aided project will help microenterprise clusters use cleaner technologies and shared amenities to reduce pollution and become less vulnerable to adversities stemming from climate change. Its objective is to promote basic safety standards, certify eco-labeled products and introduce new resource-efficient technologies. Kazi Shofiqul Azam, secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), and World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Qimiao Fan signed on the deal on behalf of the respective side. While speaking at the agreement-signing ceremony, the WB country director spoke highly of the merit of switchover to modern-day technological mode of production. "Around the globe, we have seen that investing in clean, green, and climate-resilient technologies helps countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable growth," he said. The ERD secretary in his speech said that the government of Bangladesh has taken concrete steps to promote a "greener, cleaner, and more climate-resilient economy." The government high official hopes the project will contribute to faster and more sustainable growth-seen as an imperative for Bangladesh now that it is striving to become a developing country having graduated from the world's poor-country club, that is, LDCs. As packaged, the credit is coming from the International Development Association (IDA), WB's concessional lending arm. IDA hands out grants or zero-rated loans. The credit has a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and service charge of 0.75 percent.

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