The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors on Wednesday (February 19) approved funds to help Ethiopia upgrade its road system, strengthen road maintenance and reduce travel time along inter-regional corridors. The Road Sector Support Project is supported by a US$320 million IDA credit as part of the $US385 million total project cost.
The government of Ethiopia will contribute $US65 million. The project is aligned with the Growth and Transformation Plan and supports economic expansion by improving the quality of roads serving areas producing exportable agricultural products. It will also assist it the aim of halving the proportion of the population living below the poverty line.
Guang Zhe Chen, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, said Ethiopia had experienced strong economic growth and achieved substantial progress on social and human development over the past decade and upgrading and maintaining the country's road sector was an important part of the Bank's work in Ethiopia. He said the project would enhance trade, create new markets, and provide improved access to education, medical services, and food security for the country's poor. The first phase of the Road Sector Development Program was begun in 1997 and since then the road network has increased from 26,500 kilometers to 85,900 km.