The FINANCIAL -- The
government of Bangladesh signed two financing agreements totaling
$535 million with the International Development Association (IDA), the
World Bank’s concessional arm: $410 million for the Municipal
Governance and Services Project and $125 million in additional financing
for the ongoing Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project, according to the World Bank Group.
The Municipal Governance and Services Project aims to improve the municipal governance and basic urban services in the urban local bodies located along growth corridors from Dhaka towards Chittagong, Rangpur, Sylhet, and Mymensingh. The project aims to benefit some 3.4 million people in municipalities across the country, of whom 45% will be women.
Through a demand-driven approach, the project will build roads, water and sanitation systems, markets, bus terminals, and municipal services centers in these communities. Further, the project will strengthen the urban local bodies to able to undertake immediate response operations in times of major emergencies, according to the World Bank Group.
The innovative design of the project includes a performance-based evaluation and allocation system that will reward well performing urban local bodies with additional investment funds. Performance of the local bodies will be measured by improvements in governance, participatory planning, capital investment planning, financial management, and revenue enhancement.
The additional financing to the ongoing Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project that started in 2009 will continue to support enhancement of quality and relevance of higher education. The project aims to introduce innovation, accountability and better research facilities in public and private universities.
The additional financing will continue to promote academic innovation through a competitive funding mechanism, known as the Academic Innovation Fund. The project has already awarded 194 academic innovation funds to 27 public and two private universities, according to the World Bank Group.