ADB to provide $8 billion to BD in five years

ADB to provide $8 billion to BD in five years

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$ 8 billion to Bangladesh in five years to help implement its ongoing 7th 5-year plan (2016-2020).This was revealed at ADB’s Bangladesh Country Partnership Strategy 2016-2020, launched here on Wednesday at an event at National Economic Council (NEC) auditorium.
According to the partnership strategy, the ADB will provide Bangladesh US$ 8 billion for the 2016-2020 period, which is much higher than US$ 5 billion ADB lending for 2011-2015 period.
ADB Country Director Kazuhiko Higuchi and Economic Relations Division (ERD) senior secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin jointly launched the partnership strategy.
The ADB will adopt a broad-based approach to respond flexibility to the needs and demand of the country over the country partnership strategy (CPS) during the period.
It will support easing infrastructure constraints in key sectors, such as energy, transport and urban development.
Besides, the priority investment areas of ADB will be improving human capital (skills), supporting economic corridor development, improving rural livelihood and infrastructure and providing climate and disaster resilient infrastructure and services.
The country partnership strategy will focus on economic diversification to accelerate GDP growth (7 percent plus) and generate more urban and rural jobs as well as accelerating rural and balanced regional development to make growth more inclusive while addressing environmental vulnerability.
Now the amount of ADB support is US$ 6.5 billion in ongoing sovereign loans and grants, and US$ 28.64 million in ongoing TAs.
Of the amount of ADB support, the highest 26 percent in energy sector, while 25 percent in transport sector, 16 percent in education, 15 percent in water and urban, 10 percent in finance and 7 percent in agriculture, natural resources and rural development sectors.
As per the strategy, the upcoming activities of ADB are economic corridor development study, operational knowledge based development, Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar railway capacity improvement, Dhaka urban transport, Chittagong port capacity improvement and IT park development.
Taking lessons from the previous strategy, the country partnership strategy stressed the need for enhancing project readiness and strengthening the capacity of executing agencies in areas such as procurement, safeguards, and financial management.
Besides, it emphasised on accelerating ADB support for public-private partnerships (PPPs), expanding private sector operations, strengthening regional cooperation and integration, and continuing a cross-sectoral emphasis on the environment and climate change.
Replying to a question, ERD Senior Secretary said the amount of disbursement has so far stood at US$ 3.4 billion against the ADB’s current commitments of US$ 6.9 billion.
ADB Country Director K Higuchi said the ADB’s activities will soon be linked with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a view to helping Bangladeshi to implement the 2030 global sustainable agenda.
Foreign aid commitments for Bangladesh equaled US$ 5.3 billion with about 85 percent in the form of concessional loans in 2015-16 fiscal, which accounted for nearly one-third of the development programme spending.

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