Staff Correspondent: The government is going to undertake a Tk 2,555.25 crore big project to enhance the capacity of the urban local government bodies in their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic alongside strengthening their preparedness in facing such situation in the future.
The Local Government Division under the Ministry of LGRD and Cooperatives will implement a project to this end titled “Local Government COVID-19 Response and Recovery (LGCRR)” by December 2025 with an estimated cost of Tk 2,555.25 crore.
The draft project is likely to be placed before the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) tomorrow. ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over the meeting, said a Planning Commission official.
Out of the total project amount, the government will provide Taka 11.25 crore while the rest of Taka 2,544 crore will come from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank.
The project will be implemented in some 10 city corporations and 329 Pourasabhas.
The project will help Bangladesh to strengthen its urban local government institutions for responding the COVID-19 pandemic and improve preparedness to future shocks benefitting about 40 million urban residents.
Planning Commission member of the Physical Infrastructure Division Md Mamun-Al-Rashid said that this project aims to ensure necessary response facilities to the selected city corporations and Pourasabhas considering the Covid-19 situation. “In response to the pandemic situation, this project will enhance the capacity of the selected city corporations and Pourasabhas,” he said.
Mamun said there would not be any specific scheme under the project, rather the selected city corporations and Pourasabhas would frame master plans for their future operations in response to such situation.
The Planning Commission member also informed that the concerned city corporations and Pourasabhas under the project would determine their operations in various areas such as construction of roads, drains, public parks, water supply and street lamps.
Besides, toilets would be set at markets, graveyards, cremators, schools operated by the selected city corporations and Pourasabhas and thus hygiene and sanitation materials would be supplied to those.
Planning Commission officials said some 329 Pourasabhas and 10 city corporations will have the provision to receive funds bi-annually from the project to improve critical urban services delivery of facilities and infrastructure, local economic recovery, and preparedness to climate impacts, disaster and future disease outbreak.
The project will support labor intensive public works to restore the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable people, mostly working in the informal sector who were most affected by the COVID 19 restrictions and lockdowns.
Aided by the funding from the project, the World Bank officials said the eligible urban local bodies will install community hand-washing stations and toilets; and improve sanitization in municipality-owned or operated markets, burial grounds, and public offices.
The project will help the residents have better access to municipality-operated health clinics and facilitate vaccine registrations for disadvantaged people, and conduct awareness programs on COVID-19 protocols, vaccines, and climate risks.
It will create 1.5 million days of temporary work as well as employment for 10,000 women under the public work scheme. The project will also help the local government institutions to improve preparedness to climate impacts, disaster, and future disease outbreak.
The project will help strengthen local institutions through training, technical support, and set up a web-based platform for better coordination and exchange of information during emergencies. It will be implemented in all eight divisions: Barishal, Chattogram, Dhaka, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet.
The credit is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides concessional financing, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.
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