The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Bangladesh signed an agreement for $100 million in concessional loan to expand the coverage of the ongoing rural road network improvement project in Bangladesh.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Fatima Yasmin and ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash remotely signed the loan agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively, said a press release.
“The project will contribute to the government’s efforts for faster socio-economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.
“The expanded project will benefit around 90 million inhabitants in 34 districts with access to better health services, education, employment opportunities, markets and other government services,”he said.
Manmohan said in addition to generating 1.73 million person-days of employment through infrastructure spending, the additional financing will also widen the opportunities for women and children to have easier and safer access to education, emergency health services, and other essential social services in any weather condition.
This additional financing will scale up the current road network development under the Rural Connectivity Improvement Project from 1,700 kilometers (km) to 2,630 km of rural roads.
It will build on the $200 million financial package approved in 2018 aimed at upgrading rural roads in 34 districts to all-weather standards with climate resilience and safety features. The expanded project will benefit around 92 million people.
The release said the Rural Connectivity Improvement Project supports the government’s Seventh Five Year Plan to increase the percentage of the country’s rural roads classified as good from 43 percent in 2016 to 80 percent in 2020.
The overall project will continue to strengthen governance and institutional capacity in rehabilitating and maintaining rural roads with the use of a geographic information system to optimize monitoring of road conditions, thus sustaining an efficient rural road network that would boost further growth of the rural economy.