ADB to provide $250 million to Bangladesh to boost social protection system

Bangladesh will receive $250 million policy-based loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under an agreement signed with the Manila-based aid agency on Tuesday.

The fund will be used to further improve the social protection system in Bangladesh for supporting the vulnerable population against socioeconomic challenges, said a press release of ADB.

Economic Relations Division Secretary Fatima Yasmin and ADB country director Edimon Ginting virtually signed the agreement from their respective sides, said the press release.

The programme aims to accelerate reforms in increasing the coverage and efficiency of the social protection, improving the financial inclusion of disadvantaged people, and strengthening the response to diversified protection needs.

The loan is the second subprogram of the Strengthening Social Resilience Program (SSRP) approved in 2021, which helped implementation of institutional and policy reforms that strengthened the inclusiveness and responsiveness of social protection in Bangladesh.

ADB Country Director Ginting said that the integrated social protection programme will improve social safety net management, deepen financial inclusion, address needs based on demographic, geographical, age, gender, and other diversities; and widen the coverage and efficiency of social protection.

The reforms supported under the programme will help improve efficiency by digitalization and integration of systems as well as harmonization of government’s social protection programs.

The reforms will help Bangladesh bring at least 80 per cent of social protection programs with cash-based benefits under a standardized and integrated management system with connection to G2P platform by June 2023.

At least 60 per cent of cash-based social protection benefits will be delivered to disadvantaged women, and social protection program fragmentation will be reduced in three ministries. The number of active mobile financial services accounts will be increased annually by 5%.

At least 50 mobile clinics will start operating in 10 city corporations. At least one social insurance scheme (contribution-based protection scheme) will be initiated on a pilot basis by 2023.

Source: United News of Bangladesh