DHAKA, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank has approved 515 million U.S. dollars for three projects in Bangladesh to improve coastal and marine fisheries, forest management, and rural roads.
In this photograph taken on September 5, 2018, Bangladeshi men fish near Kalidaskhali village on the banks of the Padma river in Rajshahi district. (AFP)
These financings will help rural people by reducing poverty and creating new livelihood opportunities, including for local communities in the country's southeastern Cox's Bazar district hosting Rohingya people who fled violence in Myanmar, said the Washington-based lender in a statement received here Saturday.
"These three projects will create opportunities for the rural population and especially help the vulnerable people come out of poverty," said Qimiao Fan, World Bank country director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
"At the same time, they will improve the country's resilience to climate change."
The 175 million U.S. dollars Sustainable Forests and Livelihoods Project will help improve forest cover through a collaborative forest management approach involving local communities, said the statement.
The project will plant trees in about 79,000 hectares of forest, including a coastal green belt that will also help increase climate change resilience, it said.
"The project will support increasing income through alternative income generation activities for about 40,000 households in the coastal, hill and central districts of the country," said Madhavi Pillai, World Bank Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project.
According to the statement, the 240 million U.S. dollars Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project will help improve fisheries management, expand mariculture and strengthen aquaculture biosecurity and productivity.
In 10 coastal districts, it said the project will set up community co-management associations with the fishing communities, enabling them to adopt supplementary and alternative livelihoods. It also empowers female workers through alternative livelihoods support, skills development, and nutrition awareness.
"Fisheries are vital to the country's food security and the sector employs more than 18 million people. After garments, fishery is the country's second largest export earning sector," said Milen Dyoulgerov, World Bank Senior Environment Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project.
"The project will help improve fisheriesmanagement systems, infrastructure, and other value chaininvestments. This will result in better productivity and availability of fish."
The 100 million U.S. dollars additional financing to the Second Rural Transport Improvement Project will help rehabilitate rural roads in 26 districts that were damaged from last year's heavy rainfall and floods. The ongoing project has improved and repaired more than 5,000 km rural roads that helped millions of people access markets, hospitals, and schools.
"The financing will continue a road safety program to ensure traffic safety as the rural roads are facing increased motorized traffic," said Dung Anh Hoang, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project.