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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank and Government of Timor-Leste Introduce Dili-Ainaro Road Project to the community

July 14, 2014

Connecting people to the market and other critical services along the Dili-Ainaro corridor

Dili, July 14th, 2014 – Today the Government of Timor-Leste presented the Dili – Ainaro road rehabilitation project to the community. Through this project, the World Bank is supporting the Government to rehabilitate a 110 km road corridor that will link the District of Dili to the District of Ainaro.

The presentation ceremony was conducted by Mr. Gastão de Sousa, Minister of Public Works and was witnessed by Franz Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and the Pacific Islands outside of Dili.

The road from Dili to Ainaro is a vital link between the north and the south of the country and connects three districts—Dili, Aileu and Ainaro—which jointly account for a third of the country’s population, including thousands of small farmers.

“Improving the road access will bring a social and economic benefit to the State and to the people, as a good road makes it easier for the community to connect and sell its produce to the market”,  said Minister of Public Works Eng. Gastão. “It will also provide access for tourism, boost  the economic development  and increase the quality of life for people through better access to  health and education.

“The need for robust road infrastructure that directly helps the population living along this Dili-Ainaro corridor is real and must be attended to in a swift manner, therefore we are pleased to see this project moving forward,” said Drees-Gross, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and the Pacific Islands. “The World Bank’s support will continue after this groundbreaking ceremony and we will help ensure that a high quality road is delivered to the people,” he continued.

This road project is part of the Timor-Leste Road Climate Resilience Project, launched in 2011, which delivered emergency repairs along key sections of the road, where road closures were frequent due to flooding or damage caused by heavy rainfall.

This project will now focus on rehabilitating the entire 110km road corridor across the three districts. Construction works will stabilize slope structures, improve drainage and repair pavements. The project will also support feasibility studies and detailed designs for possible future road improvements linked to the Dili-Ainaro corridor.

An emergency maintenance and response system will also help the Government plan for managing extreme weather events, such as landslides and heavy rain.

The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Public Works and is being financed with US$60 million from the World Bank—an IDA grant of US$20, an IDA Credit of US$25 million and an IBRD loan of US$15 million. The Government of Timor-Leste will contribute US$53 million to the project.

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