DHAKA, Bangladesh, Oct 18 – World Bank president Jim Yong Kim Tuesday announced $2 billion in soft loans for Bangladesh to help one of the world’s impoverished nations to fight climate change.
Bangladesh has been one of the worst victims of global warming, with thousands of people being killed by cyclones in recent years that have become more frequent and deadlier.
“Bangladesh is among the countries most at risk from the impacts of climate change. We must confront climate change now as it hits the poor the hardest,” said Kim.
“Today …. I’m announcing a $2 billion dollar commitment for climate-related projects in the next three years.”
Kim made the pledge after touring schools that double as cyclone shelters during major storms. He also visited rural communities, powered by solar systems.
Bangladesh has built embankments along its coastal belts and hundreds of cyclone shelters that double as schools.
The country of 160 million people, a fourth of whom who live below the poverty line, has improved early warning systems to face cyclones and planted millions of trees along the coast.
The World Bank said these measures have reduced deaths in major storms.
“The dramatic decline in deaths demonstrates that Bangladesh’s adaptation measures do work,” said Kim.
The $2 billion for climate change is in addition to $1 billion pledged by Kim on Monday to end childhood stunted growth, which is primarily caused by poor nutrition and disease, in Bangladesh.