The Bangladesh Government and the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group signed a financing agreement valued at $200 million for the "Recovery and Advancement of Informal Sector Employment Project" (RAISE) on Wednesday.
The RAISE project will be implemented by Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) under the Financial Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance and the Wage Earners' Welfare Board under the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment.
The project has been taken up to increase economic opportunities for low-income youth in urban areas and for migrant workers returning from abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fatima Yasmin, finance secretary of the economic relations division, and Mercy Miyang Tembon, country director of the World Bank, signed the loan agreement on behalf of the Bangladesh Government and the World Bank respectively.
Upcoming RAISE project activities
Low-income urban youth and young micro-entrepreneurs affected by Covid-19 will be covered by the Economic Inclusion Program with training, information sharing, and loans through the RAISE project.
Trainees will be provided support in gaining skills through on-the-job training, and loans for business and entrepreneurship development under this programme. This part of the project will be implemented by the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) at a cost of $150.00 million.
The social and economic integration of returning migrant workers will be achieved through creating micro-entrepreneurs and creating linkages with different organisations and financial institutions to help them access and reintegrate in the local labour market, and to return to the foreign labour market with specific skills and expertise. This part of the project will be implemented by the Wage Earners' Welfare Board at a cost of $50.00 million.
The proposed RAISE project will be funded by $200.00 million from the World Bank IDA Fund. The proposed loan is repayable in 30 years with a grace period of 05 years at an interest rate of 1.25%, a service charge of 0.75%, and a maximum commitment charge of 0.50% on any amount remaining unpaid.