Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $170 million loan to Bangladesh to accelerate the country’s efforts to deliver improved sanitation services to underserved communities.

The Dhaka Sanitation Improvement project, co-financed with the World Bank, will support government investments in sanitation infrastructure comprising sewerage systems, sewage treatment, and pilot measures for hard-to-reach areas in the Pagla catchment, one of the most densely populated areas of the Dhaka city, the AIIB said in a statement on Monday.

About 1.5 million residents in Bangladesh’s capital are expected to benefit from improved sanitation services once the project is completed. The latest investment brings AIIB’s total commitment in Bangladesh to $1.068 billion.

“AIIB is committed to ensuring that its projects improve quality of life for the most vulnerable communities. This project is expected to directly contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all,” said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations, D.J. Pandian.

The project funds will be used to reconstruct two trunk mains, build a new secondary and tertiary network and a wastewater treatment plant.

Other key components of the investment include strengthening the capacity of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and testing the feasibility of locally adapted collection and sewage treatment solutions, the Beijing-based lending agency added.

The project is AIIB’s eighth investment in the country, all of which are aligned with the country’s top priority development plans and the SDGs.