World Bank Current Affairs - 2020

Nepal becomes Lower-Middle Income Economy while Sri Lanka slips to Lower-Middle Income Economy

As per the 2020-21 World Bank’s Country Classification based on Income level, Nepal’s economy has moved to a higher category to become a Lower-middle Income economy while Sri Lanka’s economy has moved to a lower category to become a Lower-middle Income economy.

Every year, the World Bank classifies countries into four income groups- (i) Low (ii) Lower-Middle (iii) Upper-Middle (iv) High Income. This classification of the economies of countries across the world is updated on the 1st of July every year by the World Bank. The classification of a country is done by using the Atlas Method by the World Bank. World Bank is using the Atlas Method since 1993 to estimate the size of an economy. Under the Atlas Method, Gross National Income (GNI) of a country is converted into the current U.S. Dollars.

As per the 2020 Classification, India remains a Lower-Middle Income country.

Nepal

2 years back, on 22nd May 2018, the Nepal Government announced that within the upcoming 10 years, its target will be to become a Lower-middle income country. Nepal achieved the target of becoming a Lower-Income country well ahead of its plans.

For becoming a Lower Middle-Income country, the World Bank has set the GNI per capita to be between USD 1036 to USD 4045. Nepal marginally crossed the line as its GNI in 2019 was USD 1090.

Sri Lanka

For becoming an Upper-Middle Income country, GNI per capita to be between USD 4046 to USD 12,535. Sri Lanka becomes a Lower-Middle Income country from an Upper-Middle Income country as its GNI per capita in 2019 was marginally short of the minimum of USD 4046 required to become an Upper Middle Income Country. USD 4020 was Sri Lanka’s GNI per capita in 2019.

World Bank Approves USD 500 Million to Bangladesh for Improving Road Connectivity

World Bank has approved a loan amount of USD 500 million to Bangladesh on 23rd June 2020. The amount was approved for improving road connectivity along the Jashore-Jhenaidah corridor that will benefit 4 western districts of Bangladesh. This will be Phase I of the overall USD 1.4 billion multi-phase projects of the World Bank for improving road connectivity in Bangladesh.

The World Bank stated that the western districts of Bangladesh are endowed with much natural and agricultural produce. The project once completed will have great economic potential for the entire region.

Phase I of the Project

Phase I of the project for which USD 500 million has been approved is named as Western Economic Corridor and Regional Enhancement (WeCARE).  In this phase, an existing 110 Km of two-lane highway will be upgraded to a safer and climate-resilient four-lane highway. This 110 Km project will be part of the Bangladesh Government’s larger plan of developing an economic corridor of 260 km in the western part of the country.

Between Jhenaidah and Jashore, 48 Km will also be upgraded on the N7 highway under the Phase I. Apart from this, 600 Km of rural roads that connect 32 rural markets will also be improved under this Phase.