Manila, Philippines (BBN)- Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Bangladesh with a loan of US$744 million to help the country overcome the impact of global economic crisis and implement public policy reforms.

ADB’s Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a loan of $500 million under the countercyclical support facility (CSF) and three loans totaling $244 million under the public expenditure support facility (PESF) for Bangladesh, an ADB press statement said on Tuesday.  

The $500 million CSF loan is to support the efforts to mitigate the worst effects of the global economic crisis in the short term and to continue the country’s development programs.

The three PESF loans ($244 million) are to support measures to introduce economic and social policy reforms essential for achieving higher and more inclusive long-term growth and strengthening social safety net programs, according to the statement.

The loans were approved following a visit of ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda to Bangladesh in July, when he offered providing additional ADB assistance to Bangladesh to counter the impact of the global economic crisis and maintain its development programs to reduce poverty and promote growth.

“While Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing poverty, an estimated 56 million people, or 40 percent of the population, still live below the poverty line,” the ADB said.

The CSF loan has a five-year repayment term, with a three-year grace period, and will cost around 200 basis points over ADB’s financing cost, pricing that reflects spreads prior to the onset of the global economic crisis.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-14October09-10:21 am (BST)