As part of a new development programme, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be providing Bangladesh with $5 billion in 2020-2022.
ADB Country Director for Bangladesh, Manmohan Parkash, handed over the new Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) for 2020-2022 to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the parliament office on September 11, said a press release from ADB received here on Friday.
As part of the COBP, other projects worth $4.9bn have been included in the pipeline as "standby". The amount will be released based on readiness of future projects.
The COBP aligns with the government's 7th Five-Year Plan and ADB's Strategy 2030. It supports the implementation of SDGs (sustainable development goals) targets.
It is also aligned with the government's new manifesto, which highlights the priorities and sets the stage for the next 5-year plan.
Hasina appreciated ADB assistance and highlighted the government's priorities for infrastructure and human capital development, science and technology research, rural and agricultural development, and private sector promotion, the release added.
Congratulating the prime minister on strong economic performance, Manmohan said the new COBP is consistent with the government priorities. He reaffirmed ADB's continued assistance to further strengthen its partnership to promote rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth in Bangladesh.
ADB assistance is well distributed in infrastructure and social sectors. About 54% of sovereign investments (by volume) will further improve human capital; enhance urban services, water supply and sanitation; strengthen road, railway and port connectivity; promote rural development, and improve access and quality of electricity supply.
The lending prioritises skills development and tertiary education with an emphasis on information technology. It also prioritises Bangladesh's participation in regional and global value chains by furthering regional cooperation and integration in the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) and beyond.
The programme will enable greater private sector investment by easing credit constraints and facilitating local currency bonds.
The major projects under ADB finance include the Dhaka-Sylhet highway, the Joydebpur-Elenga-Rangpur-Burimari-Banglabandha highway, the Faridpur-Barisal highway, dual gauging of Dhaka-Chattogram rail lines, Chattogram-Cox's Bazar rail line, Dhaka MRT line 5 (Gabtoli-Panthapath-Aftabnagar), Skills for Employment Project, Computer and Software Engineering Tertiary Education Project, Dhaka Sewerage System and Water Supply Projects, and Khulna Sewerage System Development Project.
The projects in the pipeline may include automating revenue administration, developing bond markets, strengthening the banking system, and improving irrigation, rural connectivity and electrification.
In its 46-year-long partnership with Bangladesh, the ADB has mobilised over $25 billion in loans and grants to help bring better infrastructure, public services and social development outcomes to the people of Bangladesh.
In 2018 alone, the ADB approved a record $2.5 billion in assistance to the country. This included a grant of $100 million as the first phase of a projected $200 million support for the immediate needs of people sheltered in the camps in Cox's Bazar region. Active portfolio has also grown sharply, with around $4.5 billion in 2009 to over $10 billion in 2019.
The 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 Asia Pacific region.