Addressing environmental pollution critical for Bangladesh's growth, development: World Bank report

(Xinhua) 09:32, March 29, 2024

DHAKA, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh faces alarming levels of pollution and environmental health risks that disproportionately harm the most vulnerable people, the poor, children under five, the elderly, and women, said a new World Bank report launched here Thursday.

The report titled "Bangladesh Country Environmental Analysis" finds air pollution, unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene, and lead exposure cause over 272,000 premature deaths and 5.2 billion days of illness annually.

It said these environmental costs were equivalent to 17.6 percent of Bangladesh's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019.

Household and outdoor air pollution have the most detrimental effect on health, leading to nearly 55 percent of premature deaths, which alone cost 8.32 percent of the GDP in 2019, it added.

"For Bangladesh, addressing environmental risks is both a development and an economic priority. We have seen around the world that when economic growth comes at the cost of the environment, it cannot sustain. But it is possible to grow cleaner and greener without growing slower," said Abdoulaye Seck, the World Bank's country director for Bhutan and Bangladesh.

The report identifies environmental priorities, assesses interventions, and includes recommendations to strengthen governance and institutional capacity for environmental management.

It said Bangladesh can protect its environment by setting evidence-based priorities, diversifying and strengthening environmental policy instruments, strengthening institutional capacity, and building an enabling environment for green financing.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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