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WB Supports Bangladesh to Create Employment Opportunities for Poor

Xinhua, December 1, 2010 Adjust font size:

The World Bank has approved US$150 million credit to Bangladesh to create employment opportunities for the country's extreme poor in rural areas during the lean seasons.

One-third of the employment opportunities will benefit poor women, said the Washington-based lender in a press release received here Wednesday.

Despite commendable progress, it said around 60 million people in Bangladesh remain poor, with around 35 million of these people still living in extreme poverty.

With such large numbers of poor, the press release said even a small natural or economic shock can push many people into extreme poverty and hold back social gains, as witnessed during the food price crisis in 2008.

"The World Bank places high priority on well-targeted and well- governed safety net programs to reduce the vulnerability of the poor," said Ellen Goldstein, country director of WB Bangladesh, was quoted as saying in the press release.

"Together, the World Bank and government are expected to create approximately 200 million person-days of employment over a three year period under this project," she added.

Each year, according to the WB, the project will run for a total of 100 days, spanning two lean seasons: one from October to December and another from March to May when rural day laborers are often out of work.

The credit from the International Development Association, the World Bank's concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity with a 10- year grace period, it carries a service charge of 0.75 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2010)

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