The Asian Development Bank will provide Bangladesh $150 million in loans to develop infrastructure and build capacity in Dhaka and in Khulna, two fast-growing cities of the country.
A press release stated that an agreement was signed between ADB and the Bangladesh government at a ceremony in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Monowar Ahmed, secretary to the Economic Relations Division, and Manmohan Parkash, country director of ADB, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.
The project will bolster growth, enhance living standards, and improve mobility, and improve flood resilience and solid waste management in Dhaka and Khulna city regions, said Manmohan Parkash.
"By improving institutional capacity and community awareness, the project will strengthen municipal governance, institutional coordination, and sustainable service delivery," said Mr Parkash
"It will also support preparation and implementation of comprehensive frameworks for integration of urban development with the south-west economic corridor (SWEC) development, and thereby contribute to establishing the SWEC as a major economic corridor in South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation," Mr Parkash added.
A "city region" is an agglomeration of a large city with its surrounding municipalities (secondary towns) and adjacent peri-urban areas in upazilas.
The project will support the renovation of 300km of urban roads in the Dhaka city region, and 30km of drains around Dhaka and 120km around Khulna.
It will also fund the preparation of an integrated solid waste management plan including the construction of a composting plant for Khulna.
To strengthen capacity, the project will help identify priority investments, prepare or update various plans, and provide training in municipalities and city corporations in the areas of integrated urban planning, sustainable service delivery, and operation and maintenance of urban infrastructure.
To reduce startup delays for future projects, support will be provided for the preparation of detailed engineering designs for investments involving the latest technologies and smart applications.
The project will also conduct community awareness campaigns covering at least 200,000 people, including at least 100,000 women on reducing, reusing, and recycling solid waste.
ADB's finance comes in the form of a regular loan of $75 million and a concessional loan for the same amount.
The Bangladesh government will provide financing of $73 million toward the $223 million total cost of the project, which is due to be completed by the end of June 2024.