The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a US$75 million loan agreement with Bangladesh to improve connectivity and accessibility between the rural southwest regions and the capital Dhaka. The OPEC Fund loan will co-finance the construction of the Nalua-Baherchar Bridge (1.3km) over the Pandab-Paira River and build access roads.
This project will improve connectivity between Dhaka and the southwest districts of Barisal and Patukhali, where agriculture and fishing are key economic activities. As travelers currently cross the river by ferry, the project will reduce travel time and costs while also allowing agricultural produce to reach marketplaces faster. The government of Bangladesh is also co-financing the project.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said, “We are pleased to support Bangladesh in its goal to advance its transport sector. A stronger transportation infrastructure lowers costs and travel times, increases competitiveness, and helps to expand intraregional trade. This project will ultimately improve connectivity for nearly 1.6 million people. The OPEC Fund looks forward to further expand its strong partnership with Bangladesh.”
OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC; including the United Arab Emirates. It is the development finance institution established as a channel of aid to developing countries.