Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bangladesh government signed two deals on Wednesday for $130 million soft loans to help improve public and environmental health services in the country’s large cities.

The ADB is also providing a $500,000 technical assistance grant, which will be used for capacity building of the local government division and the city corporations, an ADB press statement said in the capital, Dhaka.

M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Nurul Huda, Officer-in-Charge of ADB’s Bangladesh Resident Mission, signed the loan agreements on behalf of the government and ADB, respectively in Dhaka.

The concessional ADB loan will support the government’s Urban Public and Environmental Health Sector Development Program, which will provide benefits to 10.3 million people in six cities covering 34 percent of all urban areas in Bangladesh –Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet, and a number of municipalities.

“The program will improve municipal solid waste and medical waste management, food safety, and capacity of the local government division and city corporations for public and environmental health,” the ADB noted.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-15October09-1:03 pm (BST)