The World Bank is ready to help Bangladesh increase its growth to double digits and would provide all kinds of support to this end, said Mercy Miyang Tembon, the multilateral lender’s newly-appointed country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
“There are so many potential areas where we can improve and accelerate growth to double-digit and the bank is here to support this,” she said after a meeting with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at his office yesterday.
The two spoke about accelerating economic growth and faster project implementation.
The bank has taken an initiative to help Bangladesh in improving road safety. Road accidents not only claim lives but also cause economic losses.
“Road safety is a big issue, which the government recognises and is committed to doing something.”
To help support the government’s commitment to road safety, the World Bank’s vice-president for the South Asia, Hartwig Schafer, and the United Nations secretary-general’s special envoy for road safety, Jean Todt, are visiting Bangladesh on September 23 and 24.
“Not only is their visit important but we want their visit to put Bangladesh as the model country in the region that would address this issue,” she added.
Kamal said the WB is concerned about road safety in Bangladesh and will finance various projects to this end.
The WB country director emphasised on implementation of the project on time and that funding will not be a problem, he added.
Meanwhile, Schafer in his blog said annual crash-related cost is estimated at 2 to 5 percent of national GDP in South Asia.
Referring to WB analysis, he said: “For South Asia as a whole, a 50 percent reduction in road deaths would generate an estimated gross benefit of about $1.2 trillion.”