$570m WB loan for health service, public procurement

Posted by BankInfo on Sun, Jul 30 2017 10:04 am

The World Bank (WB) on Saturday approved a credit to provide a total of US$ 570 million to Bangladesh for two projects to improve health, nutrition and population services, and strengthen the country's public procurement.
These two projects will help further progress towards better health outcomes and optimal use of public resources through an effective public procurement and monitoring system, said a WB press release.
"The World Bank and the government have been working together for years to improve the health sector and public procurement performance," said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The US$ 515 million Health Sector Support Project will strengthen the country's health system and improve quality and coverage of essential service delivery, with a focus on Sylhet and Chittagong divisions, where key health indicators are below the national average.
It aims to increas the number of mothers receiving quality delivery care in public health facilities to at least 146,000 mothers annually in Sylhet and Chittagong divisions. It will also provide basic immunization to nearly 5 million children.
As the country experiences demographic changes, the project will help address emerging health challenges, such as non-communicable diseases.
In Sylhet and Chittagong divisions, it will support school-based adolescent health and nutrition services.
The project will also help improve financial management and procurement in the sector and develop a robust health information system. It will enable over 7000 community clinics to provide complete essential data on service delivery, and ensure at least 150 health facilities to each have two accredited midwives.
The financing will contribute to the government's US$ 14.7 billion health sector program between 2017 and 2022. It includes a US$ 15 million grant from the Global Financing Facility to improve service delivery for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition.
The other financing approved today, the US$ 55 million Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project, will help Bangladesh improve public procurement performance, including its capacity to monitor implementation of development projects and programs using digital technology.
Bangladesh spends over US$ 7 billion yearly on public procurement, which constitutes about 70 percent of the annual development program.
The WB helped Bangladesh roll out electronic procurement (e-GP) in four key public procuring entities in 2011, and establish a high capacity data center in 2016 to accommodate increasing demand for electronic procurement. The new project will expand e-GP to all 1300 government procuring organizations.
The credits are from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's concessional lending arm. The credits are interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a six-year grace period, and carry a service charge of 0.75 percent.

News:new nation/30-jul-2017
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