DHAKA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank on Thursday has approved a loan of 200 million U.S. dollars to the low-income urban youths in Bangladesh impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the involuntary returnee migrants to improve earning opportunities and resiliency.
The Recovery and Advancement of Informal Sector Employment (RAISE) project will help about 175,000 poor urban youth and low-income micro-entrepreneurs enhance employability and productivity by helping them access services such as life-skills training, apprenticeship programs, counseling, microfinance, and self-employment support, said the lender in a statement.
To help about 200,000 eligible migrants who had been forced to return since January 2020 either reintegrate into the domestic labor market or prepare for re-migration, it said the project will provide cash grants, counseling, and referrals to relevant services based on their needs and aspirations.
"International migration and urban informal sector have played a central role in Bangladesh's remarkable success in reducing poverty over the years. However, both sectors were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
"The project will support both groups of workers to overcome structural barriers to employability and facilitate resilient post-pandemic growth."