The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement with the government for a $250 million policy-based loan to further improve the social protection system in Bangladesh.
The money will be spent for supporting the vulnerable population against socioeconomic challenges, reads a press release.
Economic Relations Division Secretary Fatima Yasmin and ADB Country Director Edimon Ginting virtually signed the agreement Tuesday (14 June) on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively.
"ADB remains committed to helping Bangladesh accelerate the socioeconomic recovery and assist the government to promote an integrated social protection programme", said Country Director Edimon Ginting.
"The integrated social protection programme will improve social safety net management; deepen financial inclusion; address needs based on demographic, geographical, age, gender, and other diversities; and widen the coverage and efficiency of social protection," he added.
The programme aims to accelerate reforms in increasing the coverage and efficiency of social protection, improving the financial inclusion of disadvantaged people, and strengthening the response to diversified protection needs.
The loan is the second subprogramme of the Strengthening Social Resilience Program (SSRP) approved in 2021, which helped implement institutional and policy reforms that strengthened the inclusiveness and responsiveness of social protection in Bangladesh.
The reforms supported under the program will help improve efficiency by digitalisation and integration of systems as well as harmonisation of the government's social protection programmes.
Greater financial inclusion of the disadvantaged will be broadened by improving the usability of mobile financial services through the quick response (QR) code payment services, particularly in rural areas, said the press release.