WB for investment in quake resilient infrastructures

The World Bank (WB) is interested in a multibillion-dollar investment for increasing the earthquake resilience of infrastructures in Bangladesh in the coming years, said WB acting head of its country office here Christine E Kimes on Thursday.

Speaking at the launching of a project on urban earthquake resilience at a city hotel, Kimes said the World Bank is looking forward to multibillion-dollar, multi-year projects for investing in the development of earthquake resilient infrastructures in Bangladesh, following the identification and prioritisaton of the areas under the current project.

The Bangladesh Urban Earthquake Resilience Project will be implemented jointly by theBangladeshgovernment, WB and Earthquake and Megacities Initiatives (EMI) with a financial assistance of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Response (GFDRR) over the next 15 months.

In his keynote speech, project team leader Fouad Bendlmerad noted that it aims to review the land use planning process and development plans of the city to provide guidance to make the plans risk sensitive.

Project’s senior adviser Jamilur Reza Chowdhury said Dhaka city requires a longer-term plan, rather than short-term interventions, to become earthquake resilient as it will require a great deal of time to complete the retrofitting and demolishing thousands of risky buildings of the city.

Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Disaster Management and Relief Minister AH Mahmood Ali said, “The master plan approach adopted by this project has been implemented in a number of major metropolises by the Earthquake and Megacities Initiative.”

“Cities includeIstanbul,Amman, Mumbai and Metro Manila, which benefited from improved planning for disaster risk, and, as a result, led to led to extensive investments in disaster risk reduction,” he added.

The project launching was also addressed by Department of Disaster Management and Relief (DDMR) director general Mohammad Abdul Wazed and WB specialist (disaster risk management) Swarna Kazi. UNB

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