Medical &Health

ADB pledges $8b to help implement 5-year plan

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged US$8 billion over the next five years in new funding to help Bangladesh implement its ongoing 7th 5-year plan (2016-2020).

Bangladesh will get the loan between financial year 2016-2017 and 2020-2021 for the development of infrastructure, human capital and facing climate change, said the Manila-based development partner in its Bangladesh Country Partnership Strategy 2016-2020 launched today.

ADB Country Director K Higuchi and Economic Relations Division (ERD) senior secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin jointly launched the partnership strategy at a programme in the National Economic Council auditorium here.

The multilateral donor pledged US$ 5 billion for the 2011-2015 period.

According to the partnership strategy, the loan will focus on the development of economic corridor, Chittagong port, expansion of rail network, energy, urban and infrastructure development; human capital and efficiency development; rural infrastructure and livelihood development and alleviating the impacts of climate change.

"Bangladesh has achieved tremendous success in alleviation of extreme poverty through implementing the MDGs. It is now a lower-middle income country. ADB will work with the Bangladesh government to create new jobs, develop rural infrastructure and improve livelihood," said K Higuchi.

He said the lion's share of the US$8 billion loan will be given on soft conditions. This loan will play a significant role in implementation of the government's 7th 5-year plan. He identified macro-economic stability, increasing per capita income, poverty reduction, improvements in energy efficiency and a growing young workforce as the strengths of the Bangladesh economy.

Senior secretary Md Mejbahuddin Ahmed said Bangladesh is walking on the path of sustainable development. The country has achieved over 7 percent growth which is higher compared to different neighbouring countries, he added.

He said Bangladesh's capacity in utilizing the foreign loans has increased significantly. Mejbahuddin Ahmed said facing the adverse impacts of climate change is a big challenge for Bangladesh and international agencies should come forward with assistance in this regard.

Government officials and representatives from development agencies were also present at the event.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)