World Bank provides support to cyclone affected areas in Bangladesh

Press Release No:2009/135/SAR

WASHINGTON, November 6, 2008- The World Bank today approved a US$109 million IDA credit to Bangladesh, which will support the Government's efforts to repair infrastructure and restore the livelihoods for thousands of families affected by last year's Cyclone Sidr.

The cyclone caused extensive damage to, property, livestock, and crops, with total damage and losses estimated at US$1.7 billion. Overall 30 districts and about 9 million people were affected, leaving some 3,000 dead and more than 55,000 people injured.

The Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project will finance reconstruction and improvement of some 300 multi-purpose shelters and rehabilitation of 100 km of coastal embankments, using cyclone-resistant building techniques. It will also support activities in the agriculture sector that will help farmers prepare for the next growing season and strengthen their ability to cope with future disasters.

"The cyclone was the second natural disaster to affect Bangladesh in six months, wrecking havoc on people's lives and the economy," said Xian Zhu, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh. "This project will help restore their infrastructure and livelihoods, and most importantly, prepare them for future disasters. This is vital for Bangladesh as it is one of the world's most vulnerable countries to natural disasters and climate change."

The project will also strengthen the Government's medium- and long-term disaster risk mitigation and reduction capacity, including support to the Disaster Management Bureau. It will also finance preparation of future projects for river bank improvement, coastal embankment strengthening programs, disaster shelters, and up-gradation of rural road network.

"The project targets some of the worst affected districts, and especially landless households and small, resource-poor farmers in rural communities," said Masood Ahmad, World Bank Lead Water Resources Specialist and project task team leader. "By the end of the project period, we expect the project to have helped around 57,000 poor farming households."

This project builds synergies with the livelihood operation under the Bank's Social Investment Program Project as well as other ongoing agriculture support programs funded by the Bank, United Nations, and other bi-lateral donors. With this project, the Bank's support to Bangladesh's cyclone response totals US$259 million

The credit from the International Development Association (IDA), 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.

For more project information, please visit this website

For more information on the World Bank in Bangladesh, please visit:

In Dhaka: Mehrin A. Mahbub (880-2) 8159001-28 Ext. 4251

In Washington: Erik Nora (202) 458 4735