Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$ 60 million to Bangladesh for upgrading rural roads and market facilities to improve growth and livelihood opportunities, and to cut poverty in underdeveloped areas.

A loan agreement was signed on Monday between the government of Bangladesh and the ADB at a simple ceremony at Economic Relations Division (ERD) conference room in city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka in this connection.

ERD Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Thevakumar Kandiah, Country Director for ADB’s Bangladesh Resident Mission signed the loan agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively.

The loan from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund (ADF) 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 8.0 years, carrying an annual interest charge of 1.0 percent, which rises to 1.5 percent for the balance of the term, an ADB announcement said.

Along with the cofinance from KfW, the Bangladesh government will provide $32.5 million for the project. The Local Government Engineering Department is the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion by June 2016.

The assistance will support the government’s 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 co-financed by a grant for 13 million Euro equivalent from KfW, the German government-owned development bank.

BBN/SSR/AD-12Apr11-12:22 am (BST)