The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has announced funding for projects worth $280m in Sri Lanka and $40m in Laos.
In the case of Sri Lanka, $200m will go towards low-income housing in Colombo. Some 5,500 homes will be given to people living in dilapidated housing with poor sewerage and garbage management.
DJ Pandian, the AIIB’s vice president, said: "Smarter urban planning will also enable the city to attract more foreign investment and increase its potential as an economic hub for the country."
An further $80m investment will be used to reduce the risk of landslides and fund a review of regulatory systems intended to prevent them.
In Laos, a $40m loan will be used to improve a 58km section of National Road 13, which it is hoped will benefit 471 villages and 11 districts in the province of Vientiane.
Pandian said of this project: "This investment will improve one of the most vital transport routes in the country. The updates to the road will enable quicker and safer transportation of goods and people, which will promote socio-economic development within the country and improve connectivity with its neighbours."
Image: A sunset in Colombo (Alexey Komarov/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0)