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ADB approves another $110 million loan for urban health services in Bangladesh

  • Published at 01:34 am September 20th, 2018
ADB

The loan will emphasize strengthening the service delivery system to meet demands and develop self-reliance in running the system by building on the results of the 2012 project and two other previous projects

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a further loan of $110 million for the Urban Primary Healthcare Services Delivery Project, aimed at improving urban primary healthcare services through public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Bangladesh. 

ADB Social Sector Specialist Brian Chin said ADB’s support to the government-led project, approved in 2012, has filled a gap created by the absence of urban public primary healthcare. The project has been increasing access to quality services, especially for the poor.

The loan will emphasize strengthening the service delivery system to meet demands and develop self-reliance in running the system by building on the results of the 2012 project and two other previous projects, the social sector specialist said.

The ADB said on Wednesday that the project had been recognized as an innovative model of partnership between the government – which contracts out health service delivery – and service providers. 

One of the largest PPP projects for primary healthcare delivery in South Asia, the project was originally financed in 2012 with a $50 million ADB loan, and $20 million in co-financing. 

The 2012 project covers 10 cities and four municipalities, which represents about 17% of the total urban population of 57 million.  

The project has been providing services to more than 23 million clients- where 74% are female – and it has built a network of 180 health facilities and 224 satellite clinics, says a 2015 review. 

The review said the project should be continued and expanded, to ensure the fulfilment of the growing demand for healthcare in urban areas. 

The additional financing will cover the cost of a five-year extension in assisting the government to reinforce local healthcare systems. It will also help continuing the expansion of the PPP system of contracting service providers.

It increases the coverage to another city and 10 municipalities. The project will also build eight additional reproductive healthcare centres and 24 primary healthcare centres. 

ADB has said the new financing will work on previous efforts towards mitigating climate change by adopting solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, and flood drainage. 

Financed by the Rockefeller Foundation and the governments of Switzerland and the United Kingdom, the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund will provide a $2 million grant, administered by ADB.

The Bangladesh government will contribute $30 million toward the required additional financing, while the United Nations Population Fund will provide $1.5 million in-kind technical support. The estimated time for the project’s completion is March 2023.