DHAKA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Over 170,000 low-income households in rural Bangladesh will have access to hygienic sanitation under the Output-Based Aid (OBA) Sanitation Microfinance Program, said the World Bank Thursday.
The World Bank is supporting the program with a 3 million U.S. dollars grant from the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), in line with the government's initiative to enable households to shift from basic to hygienic quality sanitation services, said the Washington-based lender in a statement.
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in almost ending the practice of open defecation in rural areas, which is now down to 1 percent. This has helped reduce health risk, especially for children under five and provided safety, dignity and security to women and adolescent girls, said Rajashree Paralkar, acting country director of World Bank Bangladesh.
"Improvements in quality of drinking water supply and environment are noticeable with improvements in sanitation," he said.
Building on previous experience and in collaboration with its partners, the OBA Sanitation Microfinance Program aims to make clean, safe sanitation affordable and accessible to poor households, and ultimately scale up the adoption of sanitation microfinance in Bangladesh.