The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a $100m loan to improve the rural road network in Bangladesh.
The funding will scale-up the Rural Connectivity Improvement Project’s current rural road network development from 1,700km to 2,630km.
The ADB loan will build on the $200m financial aid sanction in 2018 aimed at improving rural roads in 34 districts to all-weather standards with climate resilience and safety features.
The overall project is expected to benefit 40.2 million inhabitants.
ADB said that the additional funding will also supplement the government’s infrastructure spending to boost the local economy, which has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The overall project facilitates the Bangladeshi government’s Seventh Five Year Plan to increase the percentage of the country’s rural roads categorised as ‘good’ from 43% in 2016 to 80% in this year.
The entire project will continue to boost governance and institutional capacity in rehabilitating and maintaining rural roads with the use of a geographic information system to optimise monitoring of road conditions.
The project, valued at $449.23m, is anticipated to be completed by 2024. The Bangladeshi government is contributing $149.23m to the project.
ADB senior water resources specialist Olivier Drieu said: “The increased support brings more rural communities closer and faster to economic development activities, which accelerates the delivery of produce and services from agricultural lands to markets.
“Women and children will have easier and safer access to education, employment, health, and other essential social services in any weather condition.”
In November 2019, ADB has approved a $300m loan for a project to expand power transmission lines in Greater Dhaka and the western zone of Bangladesh.
The project will include the construction of 40km of transmission lines and 4,450 megavolt-ampere (MVA) of substations in Greater Dhaka, along with 368km of transmission lines, 3,070 MVA of substations, and 20 bay extensions in the western zone.