The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced a new programme for Bangladesh, containing 30 fresh projects with an estimated support of $5.9 billion, equivalent to Tk50,473 crore, for the next three years.
The regional development agency will also maintain a fund worth $5.2 billion standby, which would be disbursed on formulation of new development projects.
The ADB has finalised a new Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) 2021-2023 for Bangladesh with a provision of $11.10 billion, while the lion portion of the package would be spent to address the health and economic fallouts of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Manila-based lender made the announcement through a press release issued by its Bangladesh Resident Mission on Thursday.
"Given the Covid-19 pandemic, we are enhancing our partnership with Bangladesh by adjusting programme priorities to help the country overcome immediate challenges related to health and social protection, accelerate economic recovery, and maintain inclusive growth," said ADB Country Director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash.
"More support will be provided to improve health, food security, social protection, skills development, rural development, water and sanitation, and the finance sector, among others," he added.
The press release also explained that ADB prioritised climate resilience, gender inclusion, and balanced regional development in the upcoming programme.
The ADB said that the final allocation will depend on available resources, project readiness and the outcome of the country performance assessments.
The development agency also committed to increase support for the private sector, public-private partnership projects and help with bond market development.
It also committed to leverage co-financing opportunities and use diverse financing tools and modalities, including policy-based loans, technical assistance, grants, equity, guarantees, B-loan and trade financing.
ADB officials said that the new country operations business plan will contain $5,938 million for firm projects, while $5,283.8 million as lending instrument and remaining as grant and technical assistance.
The lending instruments include $2,607.5 million for regular Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) lending and $2,676.3 million for concessional OCR lending (COL).
The standby projects contain $5,170 million as lending instruments and $35.6 million for technical assistance.
The standby list includes a pipeline of projects that respond to the country's needs and growing absorptive capacity, to be financed depending on the availability of additional lending resources.
Regardless of firm or standby status, projects will be selected and processed based on strong government demand, sector absorptive capacity and readiness, among other criteria, said the release.