MANILA, PHILIPPINES (13 July 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $300 million loan to help achieve integrated and sustainable urban development to improve the livability of 88 pourashavas (municipalities), benefiting 7.6 million citizens in Bangladesh.

The program, Improving Urban Governance and Infrastructure, aims to strengthen urban governance and provide capital investment for improved delivery of municipal services based on the Municipal Development Plan.

“Urban areas drive economic growth, and it is estimated that by 2050 more than half of the country’s population will live in these areas. Given this scenario, it is crucial that we help to prepare pourashavas to deal with complex urban challenges,” said ADB Senior Urban Development Specialist Laxmi Sharma. “This program will incorporate performance-based approach to achieve meaningful reforms while upscaling ADB's 20-year experience in financing urban governance and infrastructure improvement in Bangladesh."

To strengthen institutional capacity for inclusive municipal governance, this results-based loan will help prepare and implement an urban governance improvement action plan in each participating pourashava and digitalize the monitoring and evaluation system, including the revenue management system. It will support specific interventions to promote women’s leadership role, pursue equity through budget earmarking for addressing the specific needs of women and the vulnerable, and adopt guidelines on climate-resilient and socially inclusive public spaces and facilities.

At least 900 kilometers (km) of stormwater drainage will be upgraded, 1,500 km of roads will be rehabilitated, and public facilities will be refurbished or developed considering the needs of women and the vulnerable population.     

The program supports urban resilience by scaling the preparation and implementation of risk-informed master planning and investments, with climate financing amounting to 60% of the loan amount.

The program will receive a $200 million cofinancing from the Agence Française de Developpement, while the government has committed to contribute about $189 million to the project.  

In addition, ADB will provide technical assistance grants of $1 million from its Technical Assistance Special Fund and $1 million from the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific to support program implementation, specifically the performance monitoring and evaluation and institutionalization of the criteria-based fund transfers to pourashavas.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. 

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