World Bank to support power and water management projects: Patel

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Dhaka, Jan 28 (UNI) The World Bank has undertaken initiatives to identify and support mutually beneficial projects in power and water management sectors as part of regional integration in South Asia.

After a meeting with Foreign Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, World Bank Vice President Praful C Patel told reporters that the Bank has discussed the matter with Bangladesh and will talk to Nepal and India to support win-win projects in power or water management.

''South Asia is least integrated as compared to others. Regional integration will not only help increase GDP growth rate, but will also increase capability of facing natural disasters like climate change, floods or cyclones in a better way," he said.

Mr Patel will go to Nepal on Wednesday and will then visit India to discuss these issues with the governments of these countries.

He said India is the worst power-starved country and a regional cooperation can be worked out on a win-win basis through consultation among Bangladesh, India and Nepal to meet the power shortage.

The World Bank will provide Bangladesh with 100 million dollar credit to help finance part of the resource gap incurred by devastating cyclone Sidr.

An agreement to this effect was signed here today by Bangladesh and International Development Association (IDA), the concessionary lending arm of the World Bank.

The quick disbursing credit will allow the government to access financial assistance necessary to mitigate the impact of the Cyclone Sidr that hit the country on November 15.

The World Bank Board on January 10 approved 47 million dollars to help Bangladesh recover from the dual shocks of the August flooding and November cyclone.

The package also included the second additional financing of 100 million dollars as well as re-allocation of resources to priority needs such as municipal services, rural transport and community development.

UNI XC PDT RS1811

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