The World Bank has invested US$300 million for the implementation of a biometrics-backed welfare program in Bangladesh, aimed to improve child nutrition.
Biometrics will be used to authenticate around 600,000 vulnerable mothers who have been identified as needing special government payments.
Bangladesh is among the world’s top 10 countries with the highest prevalence of malnutrition. According to the WHO, 41% of the children under age five exhibit stunted growth.
Every month, cash transfers will be electronically paid out into the mothers’ post office accounts using biometric cash cards issued by the Post Office.
“The project is a good example of involving local government bodies as well as using technological innovation to improve service delivery in Bangladesh” said Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division, government of Bangladesh.
A Service Agreement between the World Bank and the Bangladesh Post Office (BPO) will lay out a quarterly electronic payments mode to beneficiaries, as well as the extent of equipment required for the implementation of this biometric-enabled payments system.