The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated a $100m loan for rural road works in Bangladesh.

The new funding will help in further scaling up an ongoing rural road network improvement project that seeks to enhance connectivity between the villages and agricultural development zones.

The Rural Connectivity Improvement Project will now include 2,630km of rural roads, expanding the previous 1,700km programme. Earlier, ADB approved $200m for the road project.

Once complete, the project is expected to benefit a total of 40.2 million inhabitants.

ADB senior water resources specialist Olivier Drieu said: “The increased support brings more rural communities closer and faster to economic development activities, which accelerates the delivery of produce and services from agricultural lands to markets.

“Women and children will have easier and safer access to education, employment, health, and other essential social services in any weather condition.”

Scheduled to complete in 2024, the Rural Connectivity Improvement Project seeks to upgrade the condition of the rural roads to all-weather standards.

According to ADB, less than 50% of the rural population in Bangladesh have access to all-weather roads.

The project also supports the government’s plan to increase the proportion of Bangladesh’s rural roads classified as good from 43% in 2016 to 80% in 2020.

It is estimated to cost $449.23m. The remaining $149.23m will be contributed by the Bangladesh Government.

Last month, ADB approved grants worth €40.94m ($44.2m) for the construction of a bridge between Cameroon and Chad across the Logone River.