The World Bank has approved $515 million for three projects in Bangladesh to improve coastal and marine fisheries, forest management, and rural roads.
The financing will help rural people by reducing poverty and creating new livelihood opportunities, the World Bank said in a statement on Saturday.
The funds will also help local communities in Cox’s Bazar hosting the Rohingyas who have fled violence in Myanmar, it said.
“These three projects will create opportunities for the rural population and especially help the vulnerable people come out of poverty,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
“At the same time, they will improve the country’s resilience to climate change.”
According to the World Bank the $175 million Sustainable Forests & Livelihoods Project will help improve forest cover through a collaborative forest management approach involving the local communities. It will plant trees in about 79,000 hectares of forest, including a coastal green belt helping to increase climate change resilience, the statement said.
The project will support increasing income for about 40,000 households in the coastal, hill and central districts in Bangladesh, said Madhavi Pillai, World Bank Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist adding it will include Cox’s Bazar, which became shelter for nearly one million Rohingya people.
The project will develop and implement protected area management plans for about 10 Protected Forest Areas with involvement of community members.
The World Bank says $240 million Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project will help improve fisheries management, expand mariculture and strengthen aquaculture biosecurity and productivity in 10 coastal districts. It will also empower female workers through alternative livelihoods support, skills development, and nutrition awareness.
“The project will help improve fisheries management systems, infrastructure, and other value chain investments. This will result in better productivity and availability of fish,” said Milen Dyoulgerov, World Bank Senior Environment Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project.
Finally, the $100 million additional financing to the Second Rural Transport Improvement Project will help rehabilitate rural roads in 26 districts that were damaged from last year’s heavy rainfall and floods. The ongoing project has improved and repaired more than 5,000 km rural roads that helped millions of people to access markets, hospitals, and schools. The financing will factor in climate-resilience in planning, technical design, implementation and maintenance of the roads.