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ADB, World Bank and Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility to Improve Kiribati's Roads

13/12/2010 11:43 The FINANCIAL --

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group and the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) are to help Kiribati rehabilitate and upgrade its road network in South Tarawa.
The ADB Board of Directors approved loan funds equivalent to $12 million for the Road Rehabilitation Project, which will improve the safety and sustainability of South Tarawa’s roads.

According to ADB, the project will rehabilitate 27.5 kilometers of main road and 6 kilometers of feeder and access roads on the atoll of South Tarawa. By improving the very poor condition of the country’s most important road, 42% of Kiribati’s population will be better connected to clinics, markets and other services in the administrative capital of Bairiki. The project will also make the nation’s transportation system more efficient by improving the link from the seaport of Betio, and the Airport for the people of South Tarawa.

The Kiribati road rehabilitation project will provide training, jobs and cash incomes for women and men to participate in basic labor-based road maintenance.

ADB’s assistance includes a $12 million, 32-year loan from ADB’s Special Funds resources with an 8-year grace period carrying an interest charge of 1%, rising to 1.5% for the balance of the period. The Government of Kiribati will provide $1.05 million to be drawn from user tolls on the Betio Causeway and requested financing from the World Bank . All assistance is coordinated through the PRIF.

Through its support for this project, the PRIF will further its aims to develop and maintain critical infrastructure in the Pacific, increasing economic growth, creating jobs, and better linking urban and rural areas to basic social services. PRIF partners comprise ADB, AusAID, the European Union, the New Zealand Aid Programme, and the World Bank Group.

The Kiribati road improvement project was jointly prepared by ADB and the World Bank in close coordination with PRIF partners. It will be implemented by the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities over three years.

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