Policy makers and economists have viewed that the World Bank bureaucracy itself involved with corruption which has been reflected into its latest Covid-19 aid allocation.

The World Bank Group is prepared to deploy up to $160 billion aid over the next 15 months to support COVID-19 measures but it is showing miser to Bangladesh in allocating funds.

The World Bank allocated US$ 1.0 billion to India, $200 million to Pakistan, $100 million to Afghanistan and $ 82 million to Ethiopia in its latest Covid fast track response most of those countries population much lower than Bangladesh. Bangladesh only  got  $100 million.

Bangladesh population is 180 million while Afghan population is 40 million, Ethiopia population is 110 million, Pakistan population is 220 million.

Meanwhile, most of the countries are much bigger than Bangladesh in size and many of their economic indicators are better than Bangladesh.

“The multilateral agency World Bank is harsh and unfair against Bangladesh which has been proven even in the case of Padma Bridge. There must have some irregularities developed into the World Bank system,” Mohammed Farashuddin,   Bangladeshi economist who served as the seventh Governor of Bangladesh Bank and is the founder of East West University told Business Mirror.

Bangladesh is still fighting poverty, if it gets adequate fund from the World Bank to fight against the virus before it engulfed entire 180 million country, it may be survived, Farashuddin said.

Veteran economist AkbarAli Khan said the multilateral agencies are guided their lending by instructions come from their big bosses. “There must have some irregularities grew into the World Bank bureaucracy,”

Former Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman said the World Bank should give priority in allocating funds to those countries which are being steel fighting for poverty. “Corona is a new pandemic for the globe which may damage developing countries most. World Bank should look after matter,”

Debapriya Bhattacharya is a macro-economist and public policy analyst,  currently working as Distinguished Fellow at the CPD said the CPD does not have such research.

The bank first group of projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 countries using the fast-track process.

In addition, the World Bank is working worldwide to redeploy resources in existing World Bank financed projects worth up to $1.7 billion, including through restructuring, use of emergency components of existing projects (CERCs) and triggering of CAT DDOs and spanning every region.

World Bank Group President David Malpass after the approval has said “We are working to strengthen developing nations’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and shorten the time to economic and social recovery. The poorest and most vulnerable countries will likely be hit the hardest, and our teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis.”

“This fast response package will save lives and help detect, prevent and respond to COVID-19 in the countries we serve,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations. “Our country operations will be coordinated at a global level to ensure best practice is quickly shared, including approaches to strengthen national health systems and prepare for potential follow-on waves of this devastating virus.”

Among the initial projects India, $1 billion emergency financing will support better screening, contact tracing, and laboratory diagnostics by World Bank.  

Pakistan gets $ 200 million, Afghanistan to get $100 million,  Ethiopia to get $82 million, Democratic Republic of Congo, $47 million, Mongolia, $26.9 million, Cambodia $20 million, Tajikistan, $11.3, Kyrgyz Republic, $12.15 million, Ecuador $20 million,  Djibouti’s $5 million.

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