Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The Third Programmatic Jobs Development Policy—the last in a series of three credits—focuses on key reforms to create quality and inclusive jobs, while supporting the government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

It supports policies to modernize the trade and investment regime; improve social protection for workers; and help youth, women, and vulnerable people access quality jobs.

The pace of job creation has slowed in recent years, and the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation.

Losses in jobs and income put livelihoods of several million at risk in both rural and urban areas. Women and youth have been particularly hard hit.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the poor and vulnerable population,” Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan said in a statement. “These financing support government policies to protect those most affected by the pandemic and create more and jobs as Bangladesh continues its journey towards its vision of becoming an upper-middle income country.”

With this program, total World Bank financing under the Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit series stands at $750 million. The credit is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides concessional financing, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period. Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA program totaling over $14 billion.