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  1. Bangladesh to get $4.2bn from development partners Bangladesh will get $1.2 billion in the form of grants from the Green Climate Fund, which will be disbursed in the next four years File Photo: An estimated 745,000 Rohingyas were forced to flee to Bangladesh since August 2017. Photo: TBS Development partners said they would provide $4.2 billion to the country at the Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) held on January 29 and 30, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters at a press briefing on Sunday. Bangladesh will get $1.2 billion in the form of a grant from the Green Climate Fund, which will be disbursed in the next four years. According to the Paris Agreement signed in 2016, the donors are supposed to provide a $100-billion grant to the countries vulnerable to climate change. However, Bangladesh has received very little from the Global Climate Fund, the finance minister said. During BDF, World Bank Vice President for South Asia Hartwig Schafer met the finance minister at his office and committed to provide a $350-million grant for three projects. For the Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project, an additional amount of $100 million will be provided not only for Rohingyas but also for the local people of Cox's Bazar district. Earlier, under the project, the World Bank provided a $165-million grant only for the Rohingya refugees. "We have sought aid for the local people too as they have been suffering as a result of the Rohingya influx," said Kamal. "$40 million will be spent for the local community," he said. The World Bank will provide $150 million for the Health and Gender improvement project for the Rohingya and $100 million for a road safety project. The World Bank considers road safety a crucial issue to address, the finance minister added. Apart from this, an agreement will be signed in June this year with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) for eight projects under the 41st official development assistance loan package worth $2.18 billion. Additionally, Jica will provide more $2.7 billion in loans for another six projects. Of these, four projects have already been selected, said the finance minister. "We have learnt many things from the BDF last week and gotten some good suggestions and recommendations. We will include those, which will be helpful for us in the future." However, a World Bank official said development partners did not make any financial commitment at the forum. Future plans for implementing the eighth five-year plan were discussed at BDF. The development partners will later determine how much money they will provide for the development of Bangladesh, the official added. The government intends to attract over Tk77 trillion in investments to implement the eighth five-year plan, aimed at increasing the gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 8.51 percent. The General Economic Division under the Planning Commission is going to set a target to draw Tk19 trillion of the amount from the public sector and over Tk58 trillion from the private sector. If successfully implemented, the plan would guarantee 10.5 million employment opportunities – 7.5 million in Bangladesh and the remaining 3 million abroad. The plan would also bring down moderate poverty rate to 12.17 percent by the 2024-25 fiscal year, from the existing 20.5 percent. Extreme poverty is expected to drop to 5.28 percent by the 2024-25 fiscal year from 10.5 percent recorded in FY19.
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