26 March 2014

Kenya: World Bank Injects New Funding to Kenya's Transport Sector

press release

Additional $203.5 million will support reconstruction of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and upgrading of Northern and Western trade and transport corridors

The World Bank has approved new funding for the emergency reconstruction of Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which suffered a major fire disaster in August last year.

The Bank's Executive Board of Directors today approved $203.5 million additional financing for the Kenya Transport Sector Support Project (KTSSP) to support emergency activities and the ongoing expansion works at the airport in Nairobi, and also to enable the government to complete upgrading sections of the Northern and Western transport corridors.

"The additional financing will support the government to restore operations at Kenya's premier international airport and also to improve the preparedness of the Kenya Airports Authority to respond to disasters such last year's fire emergency," said Diarietou Gaye, the Bank's Country Director for Kenya. "It will also enable us to complete ongoing contracts for upgrading of the two major trade and transport corridors to facilitate regional trade and integration."

The massive fire destroyed international passenger terminal facilities and caused major flight disruptions at Kenya's largest airport, which is also East Africa's busiest international air transport and tourism hub. Although domestic and international flight operations were quickly restored, some passenger services are being handled from temporary terminals.

Under the new funding, a new temporary international passenger arrivals terminal will be installed and terminal 4, which is under construction with Bank funding, will be expanded to include permanent facilities for an international arrivals lounge.

The new funding from the Bank's International Development Association (IDA)* will increase the total Bank financing for the KTSSP to $503.5 million.

The project is helping the government to upgrade major sections of the Northern Corridor, which runs from Mombasa through Nairobi to the Kenya-Uganda border, and the Western Corridor, which extends from Kenya's border with Northern Tanzania through Kisumu, Eldoret and Kitale to the South Sudan border. It is also financing the modernization of the Moi International Airport in Mombasa - Kenya's second largest airport.

"The increased funding will enable the government to continue with the expansion plan underway at JKIA, which would otherwise have been disrupted by diversion of funds to the critical emergency works, and also to complete the existing contracts," said Josphat Sasia, the Project's Task Team Leader.

"The scope of the project will be expanded to include activities that will enhance the safety of pedestrians and other road users on the Northern and Western corridors."

The emergency and original project activities under the project are being funded by the government and the Bank in partnership with other development partners, including the African Development Bank, the French Development Agency, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Investment Bank.

* The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa.

Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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