WB to provide $250m to Bangladesh to create quality jobs

DHAKA, The World Bank (WB) has approved a US$ 250 million development policy operation to help Bangladesh strengthen its capacity to create more, betterpaid and quality jobs in a rapidly changing environment.

The Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit aims at supporting

Bangladesh to develop a stronger policy and institutional framework to

address barriers to creating more and better jobs for citizens, including

women, youth and the vulnerable population, said a WB press release issued

today.

Despite Bangladesh's robust economic growth, the pace of job creation has

slowed in recent years, and almost stalled in the readymade garments sector.

The growth rate for jobs fell to 1.8 percent in 201016 from 2.7 percent in

200310, the release said.

Women, workers in lagging regions, and youth in particular face

challenges in accessing quality jobs. Climate change has exacerbated this

jobs challenge, underscoring the need to significantly increase of employment

in the nonagriculture sector.

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in accelerating growth and

reducing poverty, but the rate of job creation has not kept up with economic

growth. Creating more and better jobs is a prerequisite for the country to

achieve its vision of uppermiddle income status, said Qimiao Fan, World

Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

This will require the economy to create jobs for the 2.2 million youths

entering the labour force each year, while attracting more women into the

labour market. This programme supports reforms to stimulate trade and private

sector investment, strengthen social protection for workers and help the

vulnerable population access to jobs, he added.

To promote largescale employment in diverse manufacturing sectors, the

reform programme will help improve the investment environment, lift barriers

to doing business, and modernise customs and trade facilitation. The

programme will also help implement amendments to the labor law and reform the

pensions scheme to ensure that works are protected.

This programme seeks to increase investments in labourintensive

activities, improve the quality of jobs, strengthen resilience to shocks, and

ensure women, youth, and migrants' access to job opportunities, said Thomas

Farole, World Bank Lead Economist and Task Team Leader.

In addition, it will help develop marketoriented skills for women,

youth, and overseas migrants, preparing them for better employment

opportunities, he added.

The programme also aims to increase female labour force participation by

increasing availability of childcare for working mothers and targeting women

and youth with training and employment services.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)