Govt, ADB ink $200m deals to boost urban infrastructure

Kalerkantho Online   

19 September, 2017 19:12 PM

Govt, ADB ink $200m deals to boost urban infrastructure

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The government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed US$200 million loan agreements to strengthen urban infrastructure, service delivery, and management at in Bangladesh's pourashavas (municipalities). 

Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and ADB Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi inked the agreements on behalf of their respective sides at a ceremony at ERD, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city, said a press release. 

"The ongoing project for improving urban infrastructure and services in 30 municipalities nationwide has been progressing well," said Kazuhiko Higuchi. 

The strong performance has enabled additional loans to further enhance benefits of the project and bring them to a larger group of people around the country, he added. 

The additional financing for the "Third Urban Governance and Infrastructure Improvement (Sector) Project" will increase the total ADB loans for the project to $325 million, and help continue improving the priority infrastructure and services, and strengthening their managing capacities, in the 30 existing and 5 newly added pourashavas with a total population of 3.1 million. 

The project emphasizes promoting climate resilience and gender equity, and includes flood protection, urban roads, water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, other urban services, and their capacity strengthening. Underdeveloped areas will receive special attention. 

The project will contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 11: making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. 

The project also focuses on strengthening municipal financial management through system and procedural enhancements. The project is due for completion in 2021. 

The project, first approved in 2014, builds on two successful previous projects: the first performance-based urban project completed in 2007 with a $65 million loan that supported management and infrastructure improvements in 27 pourashavas, and the second project completed in 2016 with an $87 million loan that broadened the support to 51 pourashavas.