ADB to give $11.1b for infrastructure development | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 24, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, February 24, 2021

ADB to give $11.1b for infrastructure development

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide about $11.1 billion to Bangladesh from 2021 to 2023 under its new country operations business plan.

Of the sum, $5.9 billion will be given for firm projects and $5.2 billion for standby projects, a number of officials of the lender said.

Projects include the Dhaka-Sylhet Corridor Road Project, the Daulatdia-Faridpur-Barishal Road Project, the Tongi-Akhaura Dual Gauge Project, the Laksam–Chattogram Dual Gauge Railway Project, the Dhaka-Cumilla Chord Line Project, and the Bangladesh Renewable Energy Project.

Yesterday ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash informed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about the lender's plan during a courtesy call at the Gono Bhaban.

The ADB provided more than $607 million in loans and grants to Bangladesh to expand the social safety net and manage the immediate impacts of the coronavirus pandemic after the crisis hit the country in March last year.

More than $560 million of other supports is helping create jobs and boost the rural economy.

The Manila-based lender is in talks with the government about a proposal for $940 million in assistance from its Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility for Bangladesh's coronavirus vaccination programme.

Two $500-million policy-based loans are also being processed in 2021 to support the health and finance sector recovery.

Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, the lender has adjusted its overall programme priorities in Bangladesh, emphasising health and social protection, food security, skills development, rural development, water and sanitation, and the financial sector.

Parkash handed a study on the coordinated and holistic development of the southwestern region to the prime minister.

The report indicates that the southwest region can greatly contribute to the economic growth of the country, with industrial output of about $150 billion by target industries and 35 million of corridor-induced jobs by 2050, benefiting more than 40 million people.

"With smart investments in industry, infrastructure and human capital, the region can attract investment, create employment, and bring prosperity."

Completion of the Padma Bridge will unleash the further potential of Bangladesh, and it can become the perfect example for promoting holistic and inclusive development, officials said.

The ADB has initiated the preparation of a new Country Partnership Strategy for 2021-2025. It is fully aligned with the priorities of the Eighth Five-year Plan, the Perspective Plan 2041, the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 and the Strategy 2030 of the lender.

The new strategy will focus on addressing infrastructure deficit, skills development, making cities and urban centres more livable, agriculture and rural development, climate change and disaster resilience, strengthening health sector and social protection, gender equity, attracting private investment, and improving the business climate.   

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