Manila, Philippines (BBN)– Bangladesh, with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is stepping up efforts to upgrade rural roads and market facilities to improve growth and livelihood opportunities, and to cut poverty in underdeveloped areas.

The ADB Board of Directors approved a loan of US$60 million equivalent for the Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Improvement Project, which will be carried out in 21 districts in the northwest and southwest of the country.

The project is expected to be cofinanced by a grant for €13 million equivalent from KfW, the German government-owned development bank, an ADB announcement said on Friday.

The loan from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund makes up over 55 percent of the total project investment cost of $108.4 million. It has a 32-year term with a grace period of 8 years, carrying an annual interest charge of 1 percent, which rises to 1.5 percent for the balance of the term. Along with the cofinance from KfW, the Bangladesh government will provide additional support of $32.5 million equivalent.

The Local Government Engineering Department is the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion by June 2016.

BBN/SSR/AD-12Nov10-6:29 pm (BST)