The World Bank has approved a $250 million loan for Bangladesh to strengthen its environmental management and encourage private sector participation in green investment.The 30-year term loan with a grace period of five years will help the Bangladesh Department of Environment strengthen its administrative and technical capacities, according to a statement issued by the international financial institution’s Dhaka office on Friday. The credit comes from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, which provides concessional financing.
With the help of this financing, Bangladesh will be able to tackle the key pollution issues, which would benefit over 21 million people living in the capital city of Dhaka and beyond. The Bangladesh Environmental Sustainability and Transformation (BEST) Project will be establishing a Green Credit Guarantee Scheme in order to incentivize the financial sector to support green investments that will help reduce air pollution.
The World Bank’s acting country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, Dandan Chen, has said that the economic growth and urbanization of Bangladesh have come at high environmental costs in terms of pollution. The pollution is not only impacting the health of the citizens, but it is also eroding the economic competitiveness of the nation.
The statement said that this project will strengthen the environmental institutions of the country to control pollution better and promote sustainable development. The project will help initiate the construction of our vehicle inspection centers by using a private-public partnership model to inspect approximately 46,000 vehicles annually. An e-waste management facility will be built to handle 3500 metric tonnes of e-waste per year.This project will assist in reducing over 1 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from the targeted sources.
In 2019, air pollution and lead exposure will be responsible for more than one-fifth of deaths in Bangladesh, which would cost about 12 percent of the country’s GDP, as said by the World Bank’s senior environment specialist and task team leader for the project, Jiang Ru. He further added that strong environmental regulations and strict environmental enforcement will incentivize the private sector to invest in green growth and pollution control, which will help the country achieve its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The project will also help establish continuous water quality monitoring stations to ensure that selected industrial effluent treatment plants are environmentally adaptable. It will also establish a first-of-its-kind network of 22 continuous surface water quality monitoring stations to start the real-time monitoring of water quality in the rivers of Dhaka and targeted international rivers in real-time.