Colombo, April 5 (IANS) The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said on Friday it has approved loans worth $280 million for its first two projects in Sri Lanka, aimed at improving living conditions in the country.
A $200 million loan will improve housing conditions for low-income communities in Colombo by building affordable housing and redeveloping land while another loan of $80 million will be used to reduce the risk and damage from landslides in Sri Lanka, Xinhua news agency quoted an AIIB statement as saying.
Investment in the Urban Regeneration Project will support the construction of about 5,500 housing units and other related infrastructure in Colombo.
The housing units will be provided to individuals and families currently living in under-served settlements that are impacted by poor sewer and solid waste management systems and dilapidated housing structures.
“Providing affording housing will improve the quality of life for those in need in Colombo,” said AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian.
“Smarter urban planning will also enable the city to attract more foreign investment and increase its potential as an economic hub for the country.”
The investment to reduce landslide risk will support the design and construction of mitigation or protection measures where landslides have already occurred or are at risk of occurring.
It will also support the review and strengthening of the policy and regulatory systems for landslide management at local and national level.
“With global warming contributing to increased risk of both the number and intensity of climatic events in Sri Lanka, landslide mitigation efforts are an important part of ensuring the sustainability of vital infrastructure,” said AIIB Director General Supee Teravaninthorn.
“Our involvement in this project will help us to develop capacity in disaster mitigation, so we can support other members in the planning and implementation of climate-resilient and major disaster prevention projects.”