BSS:  The government of Bangladesh today signed a $500 million financing agreement with the World Bank to help upgrade the Jashore-Jhenaidah highway and improve the connecting rural roads and markets that will benefit over 20 million people living in the western region.
 The Western Economic Corridor and Regional Enhancement (WeCARE) Program Phase I project will help upgrade the 48 km two-lane Jashore-Jhenaidah road to a modern 4-lane highway.
 The project will also help rehabilitate about 600 km connecting rural roads and build new or develop existing rural markets. It will also install fiber-optic cables along the highway to ensure fast and reliable internet service, said a World Bank press release.
The agreement was signed by Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary
Fatima Yasmin and World Bank country director Mercy Tembon on behalf of the
government and the World Bank respectively. The credit from the World Bank’s
International Development Association (IDA) has a 34-year term, including a
four-year grace period.
“This is a ground-breaking project that will help improve transport
network,” said ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin.
“Improvement in the logistics and transport in the western districts will
further help accelerate economic growth and development for the entire
country,” she added.
“With better connectivity and logistics, farmers will be able to reach new
and existing markets in less time and cost, and will also minimize loss from
spoilage of perishable goods,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director
for Bangladesh and Bhutan.