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$525m WB loans for rural road, bridge development

FE Report | December 07, 2018 00:00:00


The World Bank (WB) will provide more than half a billion dollar loans for rural road and infrastructure development in Bangladesh.

The Washington-based multilateral lender made the confirmation of the funds in Dhaka on Thursday.

To this end, the WB and the Economic Relations Division (ERD) inked two credit deals worth $525 million.

Qimiao Fan, WB country director, and Mahmuda Begum, ERD additional secretary, signed the agreements.

The WB will provide $425 million for the 'Operation for Supporting Rural Bridges Programme' in coastal districts and $100 million for 'Rural Transport Improvement-II Project'.

Under the bridges programme, the Local Government Engineering Department (LGRD) will improve connectivity and climate resilience in 19 coastal districts.

It will help plan, design and manage bridges through rehabilitation of at least 29,000 metres of bridges and build 20,000 metres of new ones in 61 districts.

The programme will create jobs by generating about 5.5 million person-days of employment.

Under the transport improvement project, the LGED will rehabilitate 1,433 kilometres of upazila and union-level roads damaged in floods and heavy rainfall in 2017.

It will also maintain some 6,000km of rural roads in 26 districts.

The project will also promote community road safety campaign and safety measures for public and private transport users in the light of increasingly heavy traffic on rural roads.

At the loan-signing ceremony, Ms Mahmuda Begum stressed the need for enhancing the quality of rural roads.

The WB will charge 1.25 per cent interest rate and 0.75 per cent service charge for the $525 million credit.

The maturity of the loans will be 30 years where five years be calculated as grace period.

Since 1971, the WB has made commitment of more than $30 billion in grants and loans to Bangladesh.

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