The project will contribute to early childhood development by supporting the expansion and strengthening of the government’s existing social protection program…reports Asian Lite News
The World Bank has approved 210 million U.S. dollars for a Bangladeshi project to provide cash transfers and counseling services to improve nutrition and directly benefit about 1.7 million pregnant women and mothers of children under four years in vulnerable households.
Under current education and health systems, a child born in Bangladesh would only be 46 percent as productive as they could potentially be, Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, said in a statement Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
“But this can be changed. Ensuring adequate nutrition prenatally and in the first 1,000 days of life, and responsive caregiving throughout childhood, help maximize a child’s brain development and health. This enables them to be more productive and earn more when they grow up. The project will help poor mothers be informed on timely and appropriate care for their children and provide income support to act on that learning to improve their children’s health and wellbeing,” said Seck.
Despite significant gains in human development, poor nutrition and learning poverty among children remain a pressing challenge in Bangladesh and were exacerbated during COVID-19 lockdowns.
This has long-term implications for children’s cognitive development and their future productivity. The project will contribute to early childhood development by supporting the expansion and strengthening of the government’s existing social protection program, the Mother and Child Benefit Program.
Local currency card
Bangladesh on Wednesday launched a local currency card, Taka Pay, the first of its kind in the country, as part of its efforts to build a cashless society.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday inaugurated Taka Pay from her official residence Ganabhaban in capital Dhaka, reports Xinhua news agency.
The card will be issued by the state-owned Sonali Bank and the privately-owned City Bank and Brac Bank in collaboration with the central bank of Bangladesh.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Hasina said this card will be a groundbreaking step for building a cashless society in Bangladesh.
She said as an independent and sovereign country, Bangladesh’s financial system has to be independent and sovereign to reduce dependency on others.
“We must not be dependent on any single hard currency,” she said.
The Prime Minister also stressed the need for data security for every holder of the newly introduced debit card.