The credit will provide a leg up for the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 that aims to attain a safe, climate resilient and prosperous delta and reduce the impact of floods in 14 districts that are home to 1.25 million people.
The World Bank on Saturday approved a USD 500 million credit to support the ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100’, a disaster preparedness initiative targeting inland regions in 14 flood-prone districts that are vulnerable to flooding. The programme will benefit some 1.25 million people.
This is a long-term plan to achieve a safe, climate-resilient, and prosperous delta, as well as the World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025.
The credit has been approved as part of the World Bank’s Resilient Infrastructure for Adoption and Vulnerability Reduction (RIVER) project. It will fund the construction of 500 multipurpose flood shelters, access roads, and climate-resilient community infrastructure in the 14 districts.
The flood shelters will operate as primary schools in non-flood times. The multipurpose flood shelters will also be equipped with solar energy systems, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. The project will also help strengthen the capacity of communities and government agencies to prepare and respond to floods and undertake behavioural change interventions.
From response to risk management
Bangladesh has a history of communities successfully running cyclone shelter programmes in the country’s coastal districts. But this is another set of communities and it is not clear if the present funding will help a knowledge exchange between the communities.
In keeping with the mantra of disaster risk reduction, the ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100’ was ideated for a transition from a disaster response approach to floods in the inland regions to a disaster risk management approach.
The credit comes from International Development Association (IDA), a member of the World Bank group, and by definition, the fund will be a concessional loan as IDA funds are. In the present case, the IDA loan has a 30-year term and includes a five-year grace period.
The project will help save lives and properties in the highly flood-prone districts in the Teesta-Brahmaputra-Jamuna, Padma, and Surma-Meghna river basins. The 14 districts that will benefit from the funding are Nilpamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Bogura, Pabna, Sirajganj, Rajbari, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Sunamganj and Habiganj.