Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a US $250 million policy-based loan to the government of Bangladesh to help finance reforms aimed at improving the inclusiveness and responsiveness of the country’s social development and resilience program.
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty over the past two decades, said an ADB press release.
The poverty incidence declined from 48.9 percent in 2000 to 20.5 percent in 2019, it added.
However, while many people were lifted from extreme poverty, a considerable number continue to live at a subsistence level, ADB said.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly affected the socioeconomic situation of Bangladesh with the decline of the country’s gross domestic product to an estimated 5.2 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2020 from 8.2 percent in FY 2019.
“Enhancing social protection support is critical to cushioning the effects of the pandemic,” said ADB Senior Social Sector Specialist for South Asia Hiroko Uchimura-Shiroishi, adding: “ADB supports the government’s intention to leverage the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen its social protection programs as an essential means of building the resilience of the poor and supporting an inclusive recovery.”