World Bank has pledged to finance $525 million to improve connectivity and climate resilience through building, maintaining and improving roads and rural bridges that could benefit over 100 million people in Bangladesh.
Of the total, $425 million will be spent for operation to support rural bridges programme to improve connectivity and climate resilience in 19 coastal districts, the World Bank said in a statement yesterday.
It will support existing efforts of the government to plan, design and manage rural bridges through rehabilitation of 29,000 metres of bridges and build another 20,000 metres of new bridges in 61 districts across Bangladesh.
The programme will create jobs by generating about 5.5 million person-days of employment, the World Bank said.
Mahmuda Begum, additional secretary of the Economic Relations Division, and Qimiao Fan, country director of WB, signed two deals in this regard at the ERD in Dhaka yesterday.
The second deal was signed for an additional financing of $100 million to the Second Rural Transport Improvement Project.
The project will help support the rehabilitation of 1,433 kilometres of upazila and union roads that were damaged from the floods and heavy rainfall of 2017 and the maintenance of almost 6,000 km of rural roads in 26 districts.
The project will also promote community road safety campaigns and road safety measures for public and private transport users in light of increasingly heavy traffic on rural roads, according to the WB.
“Rural bridges play a key role in Bangladesh's development, and an efficient rural road network can have a big effect in improving rural livelihoods,” said Fan.
“By enabling greater connectivity, these two projects will help rural communities gain safer access to schools, health facilities and markets, reduce transport costs, increase non-agriculture incomes, and expand employment for both women and men.”
“Both projects will contribute to greater connectivity for rural communities and boosting growth,” said Mahmuda Begum.