Manila, Philippines (BBN)- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing additional funds to improve the basic services and infrastructure in small and medium-sized towns of Bangladesh.

As many as 3.8 million people are expected to benefit from the Second Urban Governance and Infrastructure Improvement (Sector) Project which will expand access to and delivery of water, sanitation, solid waste management and other urban services in an initial 35 targeted towns, including slum areas. More towns will be included as the project is implemented.

The $87 million loan, sourced from ADB’s Special Funds, will be released in phases. The fund disbursements to each town are linked to governance reform and improvement in urban services, according to a press statement.

The project expects increases in income, employment, and land values in all participating towns by 2015, with 60 per cent of residents in targeted slums to have access to improved services.

It will be carried out from 2009 to 2014 in three phases with the government, ADB, GTZ and KfW jointly reviewing progress at least twice a year, the statement added.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-30October08-2:12 AM (BST)