32467-013: Chittagong Hill Tracts Rural Development

Project Data Sheet (PDS): Details


Description

The objective of the Project is to help reduce the incidence of absolute poverty in the CHT. A supporting objective will be to provide a confidence-building environment to underpin the peace accord. These objectives will be achieved through (i) increasing employment and income-generating opportunities through improved rural infrastructure; (ii) providing access to training and improved on- and off-farm productive technology; (iii) increasing the availability of microfinance services to expand productive activities; and (iv) strengthening the capacity of local government institutions, NGOs, and beneficiaries to plan and implement local development activities, thus providing a sound institutional capability for further development initiatives. The Project scope includes (i) upgrading basic rural infrastructure of feeder roads, rural roads, and trails (including bridges and culverts); (ii) a community development component that will establish a community investment fund in each subdistrict to provide matching funds for small-scale activities at the village level; (iii) provision of microfinance to enable the poor to improve their income generation capacity through development of microenterprises; and (iv) project management support.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Rural poverty and lack of resources epitomize economic life in the CHT. A large percentage of the rural community consists of people who do not have secure rights to land use, clearly a disincentive to their investing in improved farming techniques and resource management. Additionally, the CHT s infrastructure is poor, markets are underdeveloped, and the institutional support system is not structured to address the needs of the rural poor and landless. The Project will be among the first major development initiatives in the CHT for over two decades. It will contribute to efforts to reduce the incidence of poverty among the rural population in the CHT through developing the basic physical infrastructure and income-generating opportunities that will (i) substantially raise the standard of living of the landless and small marginal farmers, and (ii) encourage women to become widely involved in community decision-making and enterprise development in the rural areas. These developments will recognize the unique and fragile physical environment and will incorporate sound sustainable management practices. This approach is consistent with the Government s rural development strategy. It also directly supports the emerging collaboration between the Government and nongovernment organizations (iii) (NGOs) in the provision of services, including microfinance, to the rural poor.

Safeguard Categories

Environment: B
Involuntary Resettlement:
Indigenous Peoples:

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

An initial environmental examination (IEE) has been prepared in accordance with ADB's Environmental Assessment Requirements and Environmental Review Procedures. The IEE finds that the Project will not create any significant changes in the social, physical, or biological environment. Construction related impacts will not be a major factor because most of the roads will follow existing allignments. An intital social assessment survey carrried out for ADB during project identification showed that the rural population in the CHT was likely to be among the poorest in Bangladesh. The Project is designed to have a measurable impact on reducing poverty in the rural areas through providing improved rural infrastructure, community facilities (about 40% of rural families) and will use a participatory process where beneficiaries will form part of all planning and implementing activities.



Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

Project Data Sheets (PDS)

Timetable

Concept Clearance
06 Jun 2000

Management Review Meeting
01 Jun 2000

Approval
26 Oct 2000

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