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World Bank supports road network in Armenia...

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  • World Bank supports road network in Armenia...

    World Bank Supports Further Improvement of Rural Road Network in Armenia
    Submitted by navneet491 on August 29, 2009 - 21:05

    The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved a credit
    of US$ 36.6 million equivalent of additional financing for the

    Road Improvement Project (LRIP-AF) for Armenia. This project will
    assist the Government of Armenia in its on-going efforts to
    drastically improve accessibility of the country's main road network
    for the rural population and to create employment. It will also help
    Armenia mitigate the impacts of the global economic crisis on the
    country's economy and the well-being of its population.

    The additional financing will further scale-up activities under the
    on-going original project to improve the condition of 140 km of
    roads. Over the years, insufficient investment in the rehabilitation
    and maintenance of lifeline roads has made the overall road quality
    poor, and left some roads difficult to use and others completely
    impassable. The poor conditions and inadequacy of the lifeline roads
    connecting rural communities to the main highways affects many aspects
    of rural life and means that business opportunities are lost, it's
    harder for kids to get to school, and more difficult for people to get
    urgent medical attention when they need it.

    For example, the inability to bring crops to market in time has
    resulted in losses of 40 percent or more, and in some communities up
    to 80 percent. The rehabilitation of the road network will therefore
    help farmers and small businesses in rural areas bring their products
    to market more easily and at a lower cost, reducing the external shock
    of the crisis.

    `Rehabilitation of additional lifeline roads would also create
    temporary jobs in rural areas which have been hard hit by the crisis,
    and improve access to basic social services,' said Asad Alam, World
    Bank Regional Director for South Caucasus Countries. `While this
    immediate impact is critical, the project will also improve market
    connectivity for rural areas and build upon ongoing efforts to
    strengthen the basis for growth and competitiveness.'

    `The direct and indirect job creation impact of the project is
    estimated at about 10,000 person months of employment,' added Satoshi
    Ishihara, Head of the World Bank team designing the project. `The
    implementation of the civil works will commence in late September and
    be completed by the end of the next construction season. This will
    provide an economic stimulus to rural communities, and ensure benefits
    from improved roads.'

    The LRIP-AF has two main components. First, it will support
    rehabilitation of approximately 140 km of the lifeline roads, located
    in seven regions. In addition, a technical assistance component will
    help the Armenian Government to modernize and increase the efficiency
    of how they design their roads, and to support a road safety audit
    manual as well as a `safe village' pilot that could be scaled up to
    improve safety standards in other areas.

    This project is part of the overall World Bank Group Country
    Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2009-2012 which was approved in early
    June. The IBRD Flexible Loan has 25 years of maturity with 10 years
    grace period. Since joining the World Bank in 1992 and IDA in 1993,
    commitments to Armenia total approximately US$1, 313, 6 million.