Corruption forces Bangladesh to scrap request for World Bank funding


Bangladesh has scrapped plans to seek infrastructure funding from the World Bank after allegations of corruption within the project.

The World Bank told Reuters on Friday it had received a letter from the Bangladeshi government stating it was withdrawing its request for funds worth $1.2 billion for the 6.2-km (4-mile) bridge across the Padma river, the country’s longest water crossing.

“The Bangladesh government’s letter to the World Bank confirms the authorities’ intent to continue the investigation of alleged corruption related to the project,” the bank said in a statement.

“The World Bank has taken note of the Government’s decision of not seeking renewed World Bank financing for the Padma Bridge, and encourages the Anti-Corruption Commission to complete a full and fair investigation of the corruption allegations.”

The bank last year cancelled the funding after claiming it had found “credible evidence” of high-level corruption among Bangladeshi officials.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said this week that funding for the bridge would not resume until the government addressed the problems but reiterated its commitment to the South Asian country in other projects, worth over $4.3 billion, Reuters reports.