AIIB approves $320m for Sri Lanka and Laos loans

asian infrastructure investment bankThe Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has given the green light for loans in Sri Lanka, totalling $280 million, and Laos, which will receive $40 million. One $200 million loan targeting Sri Lanka will go towards constructing affordable housing and redeveloping land for low-income families in Colombo. Around 5,500 housing units “and other related infrastructure” will be constructed, the AIIB said in a statement. They will be given to those currently in underserved settlements with poor sewer and sold waste management systems and decaying houses. “Providing affording housing will improve the quality of life for those in need in Colombo,” said DJ Pandian, the AIIB’s vice president and chief investment officer. “Smarter urban planning will also enable the city to attract more foreign investment and increase its potential as an economic hub for the country,” he added.  The remaining $80 million will go towards reducing the risk and damage from landslides in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile the $40 million loan for Laos will go towards improving an important section of National Road 13, which will directly benefit approximately 502,100 people living in 471 villages and 11 districts in Vientiane Capital and Vientiane Province, according to the World Bank. In a statement, the AIIB said 58 kilometres of road will be rehabilitated. “The project will also benefit individuals and commercial road users who need to travel to and from the eight northern provinces of Laos, as well as to Vietnam, Thailand and China,” the AIIB added. ©2019 funds global asia

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