World Bank To Give $62 Million To Improve Dhaka's Air
Thursday, 12 March 2009

The World Bank will give $62.20 million for a Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (CASE) project to improve air quality for Dhaka residents.

The project will primarily cover two key air pollutant sectors – brick construction and transportation, said a WB statement Wednesday.

"The urban air pollution in Bangladesh causes … numerous adverse impacts on the environment, health, and general well-being," country director Xian Zhu was quoted as saying.

"Dhaka is one of the most densely populated and fastest growing mega cities with high risk of health hazards for its residents due to poor air quality."

The environment component of the project will help the DoE to improve overall air quality management and introduce cleaner technologies to improve energy efficiency and reduce air emissions, particularly in the brick fields.

"Using energy efficient, cleaner technology in brick making will significantly improve air quality in Dhaka" said Maria Sarraf, Task Leader for the CASE project.

The transport component will focus on low cost measures to reduce congestion and provide safer and cleaner mobility for those who walk and use public transport in Dhaka.

It would also finance the preparation of a public bus rapid transit study in Dhaka, said the Bank.

The Dhaka City Corporation and Dhaka Transport Coordination Board will implement the transport component.

The World Bank Board will tentatively discuss the credit for approval in May 2009.

The credits from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's concessionary arm, have 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period; they carry a service charge of 0.75 percent.

Md. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, ERD additional secretary, and Maria Sarraf, WB senior environment economist, led the government and World Bank delegations at the negotiations concluding on March 9.


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