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TIB concerned over the World Bank’s announcement to expand its lending business in the name of climate finance

Dhaka, 20 October, 2016. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed concern over the World Bank’s intent to expand its lending business by providing a loan of $2 billion to Bangladesh as climate finance over the next three years.
In a statement issued today, Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of TIB has called upon the Bank to recognize that to address challenges of climate change, Bangladesh is entitled to compensation in the form of grants, rather than loans. He said, “it is unacceptable that the Bank appears to see an opportunity for expanding its business of lending in Bangladesh in the name of standing by ‘the poor and the hardest hit’ as a result of global climate change”.
Welcoming the Bank President’s emphasis on governance and zero tolerance against corruption during his recent visit to Dhaka, Executive Director of TIB said, “If the Bank is genuinely interested to be of any support to Bangladesh on account of climate change, it should refrain from causing further burden and indebtedness of Bangladesh. Instead, the Bank should seek ways to contribute to the processes that may ensure that Bangladesh receives the promised compensation from the developed countries responsible for climate change”.
The statement said, “As one of the countries most affected by global climate change, Bangladesh is already acutely vulnerable. The climate-affected people of this country cannot afford to further accentuate their vulnerability in the form of interest payable to the mega lending group even if such loans are offered at the best possible concessional terms”.
If the Bank is interested to expand its lending business in Bangladesh we ask it to explore other areas of public interest where, unlike climate finance, interest-free grant is unavailable. The Bank will do well to apply whatever capacity and expertise it may have to facilitate easier and enhanced scope of Bangladesh’s access to grants from such sources as the Green Climate Fund.
TIB called upon the Government of Bangladesh not to accept any loans for climate finance, especially when grants should be made available as compensation. “We also appeal to the Government to deploy all political, technical and diplomatic skill and expertise at its disposal to persuade the developed countries to deliver on their commitment to provide compensation”, the statement said.
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