Manila - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday it has approved a 100-million-dollar loan to finance improvements to roads and the environment in a poor region of northwest China.
The Manila-based bank said the projects would also generate employment and improve urban living standards in Xinjiang, a region that has some of China's highest poverty rates.
Matching funds of 87.2 million dollars are being provided by the cities of Altay, Changji, Hami, Kuytun and Turpan, which are the target beneficiaries.
The ADB noted that Xinjiang, which has 46 minority groups, has lagged behind the coastal regions in benefiting from the country's economic boom.
"Poor urban infrastructure has deterred investment, degraded the environment and limited growth opportunities, especially in the promising tourism sector," the bank said in a statement.
The loan will be used to build or upgrade over 100 kilometres of roads, install traffic signals and other road safety systems and construct public toilets and other sanitation facilities.
The loan will have a 25-year term, including a five-year grace period. The project is expected to be completed by June 2014. (dpa)