Burmese Rohinya refugees camps in Bangladesh. Photo: ADB

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $100 million grant to Bangladesh for developing develop basic infrastructure and services for refugees from Myanmar.

The board of directors of ADB gave approval of the grant assistant, the first of an envisaged package totaling $200 million, on Friday, according to a bank statement, issued from Manila, Philippines.

The grant will be used for supporting the displaced people sheltered in camps in the Ukhia and Teknaf subdistricts of Coxsbazar focusing on water supply and sanitation, disaster risk management, energy, and roads, it added.
Since late August 2017, about 700,000 people have crossed the border from Rakhine State, Myanmar, into Coxsbazar at the southeast tip of Bangladesh.

This has caused a huge strain on the local infrastructure, economy as well as a major humanitarian concern, the ADB noted.

The displaced persons are living in 32 camps spread over the district.

Providing food, shelter, health, sanitation, water, and other essential services in the camps while fending off disease is a daily challenge, it noted. “If unaddressed, conditions are feared to worsen dramatically.”

“With the principle of putting people first, ADB’s project in this first phase will seek to provide basic infrastructure and services that will ease vulnerabilities and risk of hunger, disease, and disaster,” Takehiko Nakao, president of the ADB, said in the statement.

Bangladesh, which sought the aid at an annual meeting of the ADB in Manila in May this calendar year, will supplement the grant with $20 million to fund the first phase, estimated to cost $120 million over 2.50 years.

The first ADB $100 million grant will come from the Asian Development Fund (ADF), while the government will provide $20 million.

The scope and timing of a second phase of ADB grant support of a further $100 million will build on the progress of the first phase, it added.