The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $70m loan to Sri Lanka for the rehabilitation of war-hit roads in its eastern and north central provinces.

The money would be used towards the $78m project to renovate a 370km road network as well as to reconstruct and replace bridges in the two provinces.

The Head of the Project Administration Unit in ADB’s South Asia Department Sri Widowati said the project roads serve some of the poorest provinces in the country.

Improving the network will also increase the availability and frequency of transport services, improve access to markets and social services, and boost livelihood opportunities, particularly for internally displaced people,” said Sri Widowati.

A technical assistance grant of $800,000 will be used to improve the capacity of provincial agencies to manage and maintain the roads.

Work is expected to finish in December 2013.