MANILA — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million concessional loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources for the additional financing of the ongoing Rural Connectivity Improvement Project that is upgrading rural roads and enhancing rural communities’ access to markets in Nepal.
“As a landlocked country, upgrading and connecting rural roads to core road networks is essential to improving living conditions in rural areas and Nepal’s economic growth,” said ADB Principal Rural Development Specialist for South Asia Andrew Brubaker. “This project is helping improve transport efficiency in rural areas and plays a catalytic role for rural areas transformation.”
The ongoing project, approved in December 2017, has been upgrading rural roads to boost agriculture and agribusiness development. It is improving road access to about 7.5 million people in 16 districts in 5 states that are heavily dependent on agriculture.
The additional funding will upgrade 324 kilometers of provincial roads with the same all-weather standards and safety features used in the 5 provinces in the ongoing project. It will also support the country’s transition to federalism by shifting project implementation responsibilities to the provinces and strengthening the technical capacity of the Department of Local Infrastructure, provincial governments, and selected district-level infrastructure agencies. Capacity building is expected to prepare local authorities for providing devolved road management services .
ADB will provide an additional $1 million technical assistance grant from its Technical Assistance Special Fund to support project implementation and institutional strengthening.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.