US$57 Million in Additional Financing to Expand Road Infrastructure Project in Nicaragua
WASHINGTON, June 25, 2014 – The World Bank (WB) Board of Executive Directors approved US$57 million in additional financing today for the “Rural Roads Infrastructure Improvement” project in Nicaragua that will allow the construction of more than 100 kilometers of roads for the benefit of close to 100 thousand inhabitants of Jinotega, Matagalpa, Managua, Boaco and Chontales.
The project, which started in 2011 with US$35 million in financing, has already led to the construction of 80 kilometers of cobblestone roads in the departments of Granada, Leon, Managua, Matagalpa and Rivas. These roads have benefited 75 thousand residents in the area, more than half of them women.
“These investments will allow us to coordinate the production and marketing of key products for the national economy, as work will take place in coffee, livestock, dairy and basic grain producing areas that will now have better links to local markets, increasing their competitiveness,” said Pablo Martinez, Nicaragua’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure (MTI, in Spanish).
Improvements to road infrastructure will also facilitate the population’s access to basic health, education and recreation services.
“Low quality rural roads hold back the development of a country in several ways: slowing down the transportation of agricultural goods to markets, increasing their cost and complicating people’s access to services and economic opportunities,” explained Stephen Muzira, World Bank Infrastructure Specialist.
The US$57 million in additional financing will serve to expand road construction activities in the departments of Jinotega, Boaco and Chontales. The identified road sections include El Cua-San Jose de Bocay, El Portillo-El Cua, Santa Lucia-Boaco, Esquipulas-San Dionisio (subsection San Dionisio-Planta Ocalca). Furthermore, the investment will also include regular maintenance for the Managua-El Rama section.
Following the devastation of Nicaragua’s road infrastructure by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, the government combined the construction of cobblestone roads with a development approach and community participation in road works. Since then the World Bank has invested US$256 million to improve secondary and rural roads throughout the country.
Financing is broken down in a US$54.1 million grant and a US$2.9 million loan, provided by the International Development Association (IDA) with a 40-year maturity period, including a 10-year grace period. The project is scheduled to conclude on November 2017.