Published:  01:31 AM, 14 September 2017

ADB to give $200m loan for municipality development

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$ 200 million to Bangladesh to strengthen urban governance and improve urban infrastructures and service delivery in pourasabhas (municipalities) across the country. "The ADB fund will develop pourasabhas with high growth potential in an integrated and holistic way both in terms of governance and infrastructure with an aim at making them model towns of the country," an Economic Relation Division (ERD) official told BSS here yesterday.

A loan agreement to this end will be signed on September 19 in the NEC-II conference room at the ERD in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area. ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and ADB Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi will sign the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.

After the successful implementation of earlier phases, the project titled "Third Urban Governance and Infrastructure Impro-vement (Sector) Project (UGIIP-3)-Additional Financing" will provide investment funds to 35 pourasabhas based on their governance performance. In addition to the focused interventions to these towns, the project will roll out application of governance performance criteria linked with fund allocation to all A-class pourasabhas, in the country.

ADB will provide the loan to develop urban roads and traffic management and to ensure water and other urban infrastructures and services of pourasabhas for environmentally sustainable and inclusive economic growth.  The other urban services are urban flood protection, urban policy, institutional and capacity development, urban sanitation, urban slum development, urban solid waste management and urban water supply. In the government's Seventh Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), urban development is a national priority to  reduce urban poverty and improve living conditions through better city governance and service improvement.

In line with this policy direction, UGIIP-3 supports strengthening of urban governance and improvement of urban infrastructure and service delivery in pourasabhas by providing investment support to them with high potential growth based on their governance performance.

The additional financing will expand the well-performing UGIIP-3 and invest in additional priority infrastructure and governance improvement for pourasabhas under the current project, and infrastructure and governance improvement in five new pre-selected pourasabhas.

Performance-based fund allocation for all A-class pourasabhas in the country, where B-class and C-class pourasabhas can voluntarily participate, will continue to be rolled-out under the additional financing. The project is fully consistent with ADB's urban operational addressing inclusiveness, environmental sustainability, and competitiveness, and Bangladesh country partnership strategy  CPS prioritizes inclusive and environmental sustainable growth, governance improvement, and climate and disaster resilient infrastructure and services.

-AA News Desk

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