Dhaka, May 16 (UNB) – Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a financing agreement with the World Bank to help microenterprises adopt cleaner technologies.
The US$110-million Sustainable Enterprise Project will help about 20,000 microenterprises adopt environmentally friendly practices in the manufacturing and agribusiness sectors.
It will provide loans to microenterprises for innovative, environmentally sustainable technologies and practices.
Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides in the ERD in the city’s Sher-e Bangla Nagar area.
The credit is from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessional lending arm, which provides grants or zero-interest loans. The credit has a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent.
Qimiao Fan said, “Around the globe, we’ve seen that investing in clean, green and climate-resilient technologies helps countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable growth.”
He said, “The project will help Bangladesh create quality jobs, improve competitiveness and boost growth while improving environmental sustainability and resilience to climate change.”
Kazi Shofiqul Azam said the government of Bangladesh has taken concrete steps to promote a greener, cleaner and more climate‐resilient economy in the recent years. “This project will contribute to faster and more sustainable growth.”
For livelihoods, the half of the country’s population depends on 7 million existing microenterprises. But 90 percent of these negatively impact the environment, said a World Bank release.
For example, a 2014 survey shows only 6 percent of microenterprises disposed solid wastes properly.
The project will help microenterprise clusters use cleaner technologies and shared amenities to reduce pollution and become less vulnerable to climate change. It will promote basic safety standards, certify eco‐labeled products, and introduce new, resource‐efficient technologies.