The World Bank on Friday approved a total of $570 million for two projects in Bangladesh to improve health, nutrition and population services and strengthen the country's public procurement.
These two projects will help further progress towards better health outcomes and optimal use of public resources through an effective public procurement and monitoring system, said a release of the global lender on Saturday, reports UNB.
"The World Bank and the government have been working together for years to improve the health sector and public procurement performance," said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The $515 million Health Sector Support Project will strengthen the country's health system and improve quality and coverage of essential service delivery, with a focus on Sylhet and Chittagong divisions, where key health indicators are below national average.
It aims to increase the number of mothers receiving quality delivery care in public health facilities to at least 146,000 mothers annually in Sylhet and Chittagong divisions. It will also provide basic immunization to nearly 5 million children.
In Sylhet and Chittagong divisions, it will support school-based adolescent health and nutrition services.
As the country experiences demographic changes, the project will help address emerging health challenges, such as non-communicable diseases.
The project will also help improve financial management and procurement in the sector and develop a robust health information system. It will enable over 7000 community clinics to provide complete essential data on service delivery, and ensure at least 150 health facilities to each have two accredited midwives on staff.
The other financing approved on Thursday, the $55 million Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project, will help Bangladesh improve public procurement performance, including its capacity to monitor implementation of development projects and programs using digital technology.
Bangladesh spends over $7 billion yearly on public procurement, which constitutes about 70 percent of the annual development program.