DHAKA: Asian Development Bank and Bangladesh government signed agreements for three projects totaling over $350 million together in a single event on Thursday (August 9).
Out of $350 million, two are grant projects with over $125 million. A $100 million grant will support the displaced people in Cox’s Bazar camps; $25.44 million grant will enhance use of solar-powered pumps in irrigation; and $225 million loan will enhance quality and relevance of secondary education.
The agreement for $100 million in grant was signed to help develop basic infrastructure and services for displaced persons in Cox’s Bazar camps.
The grant assistance forms part of an envisaged package totaling $200 million.
Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Manmohan Parkash, Country Director, ADB, signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively, at a ceremony in Dhaka.
“The grant assistance project has been prepared, processed and approved at an extraordinary speed in two months after ADB received a request for grant assistance from Government of Bangladesh in May 2018,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.
“We are very happy that ADB’s member countries quickly approved the fund as grant since ADB doesn’t have a separate window for providing grant for displaced persons.” “We have already started implementing the sub-projects,” Mr. Parkash added.
Another agreement for $25.44 million in grant was signed to spur off-grid solar photovoltaic (SPV) pumping for agricultural irrigation.
The grant will further support activities for promoting SPV water pumping systems under the ADB-financed Power System Efficiency Improvement Project.
Finally, a loan agreement for $225 million was signed for overhauling secondary education and boosting education quality, access, and relevance.
The assistance is the third and final tranche of the $500 million Secondary Education Sector Investment Program (SESIP) approved by ADB in 2013.
BDST: 1920 HRS, AUG 9, 2018