MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $100 million loan for a highway project in Pakistan that will mark its first cofinancing with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). AIIB will provide a $100 million loan subject to its board approval later this month. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has also committed a $34 million grant for the project. ADB as the lead financier will administer both the AIIB loan and the DFID grant.

“This is a historic milestone for ADB and AIIB as we jointly aim to meet the pressing infrastructure needs in Asia and the Pacific region,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao. “The project has strategic value to Pakistan as it supports north-south connectivity, new trade, and business opportunities, which will boost jobs and cut poverty.” The project is also an integral part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) corridors.

ADB and AIIB have been preparing projects for cofinancing since last year. A memorandum of understanding for collaboration was signed by Mr. Nakao and AIIB President Liqun Jin at the time of ADB’s Annual Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany in early May.

This project will fund the remaining 64-kilometer (km) long four-lane section of the M-4 National Motorway connecting Shorkot and Khanewal in Punjab province. The project constitutes a key part of a 1,800 km CAREC transport corridor linking the port city of Karachi in the south, to major primary production and population centers including Lahore, Faisalabad, Islamabad and Peshawar, and on to Torkham on the northern border with Afghanistan.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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