$110m WB aid for sustainable enterprises

May 15, 2018 17:12:02

The World Bank will provide $110 million assistance for Bangladesh to implement the Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP) which will help some 20,000 microenterprises adopt environmentally-friendly practices.

The project covers manufacturing and agribusiness sectors, including leather, mini textiles, light engineering, plastic, food processing, metal products, livestock, horticulture, aquaculture and poultry, said a World Bank official.

The loan agreement to this end will be signed tomorrow between the Economic Relations Division (ERD) and the World Bank at the ERD in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Qimiao Fan will sign the loan agreement on behalf of their respective sides.

The official said the project will promote a cleaner and climate-resilient economy by creating opportunities for them to avail finance and technologies for environmentally sustainable practices.

The project will incentivize microenterprise clusters to use cleaner technologies and joint amenities such as shared recycling or storage facilities. It will provide loans to microenterprises for innovative, environmental-friendly technologies and practices. About 30 percent of the firms that will benefit are owned by female entrepreneurs.

The credit will come from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm.

SEP will receive interest-free IDA credit, which is repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, and carry a service charge of 0.75 per cent.

The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh following its independence. Since then the World Bank has committed nearly $28 billion grants and interest-free credits to Bangladesh. In recent years, Bangladesh has been the largest recipient of the World Bank’s interest-free credits.

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