MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $100 million loan to revitalize Jiuquan City, a former outpost along the Silk Road located in the under-developed northwestern region in the People's Republic of China (PRC).

"Jiuquan City in Gansu province used to be an oasis on the Hexi corridor along the ancient Silk Road and has the potential to be a vital link for the northwestern region. Rebuilding urban infrastructure could help the city become environmentally and socially sustainable and kickstart the regeneration of other parts of the northwest," said Diwesh Sharan, Director of the Urban and Social Sectors Division in ADB's East Asia Department.

The loan from ADB will be used to improve the roads in the city to relieve congestion, making it easier for people to get to their jobs, expand farm-to-market routes for nearby rural areas, and provide betters links to the nearby city of Jiayuguan.

The project will also build a wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of about 60,000 cubic meters per day and about 39 kilometers of wastewater pipes, which should be able to provide piped wastewater collection and treatment services to 88% of the urban population in 2019 from around 66% now.

Reducing the amount of untreated water seeping into the increasingly polluted Beida River will improve public health and safety, and help the water-scarce city better manage its water resources.

The municipal government will also plant around 60.5 hectares of trees along the northern and southern banks of the river to shield the city - located just south of the Gobi Desert - from desertification.

Together, the moves should improve the living conditions of around half a million residents of Jiuquan city, improve business conditions, and show how other towns and cities can reinvigorate themselves.

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