Staff Correspondent: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is giving Bangladesh a loan worth US$20 crore to strengthen urban infrastructure, service delivery, and management in the country's pourashavas (municipalities).
The government and ADB signed a loan agreement in this regard at a ceremony at the conference room of Economic Relations Division (ERD) in the capital's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar on Tuesday.
ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and ADB Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi inked the agreements on behalf of their respective sides. Other concerned officials from both sides were present during this time.
"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.
risingbd/Dhaka/Sept 19, 2017/Hasibul/Amirul