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FEATURE STORY

Peru: New Rural Roads to Reduce Poverty

November 8, 2012


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The lack of rural roads not only makes transport more difficult; it also hinders access to a better quality of life.

World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Transportation Program provides service to 26,000 km of rural roads.
  • 808 microenterprises have been created for road maintenance.
  • Access to other markets and communities would improve families' income.

Frequently, families and entrepreneurs in rural areas of Peru are isolated because roads and highways do not often reach their communities. When they do, roads are usually in very poor condition.

This not only hinders transport, but also makes accessing schools and health centers difficult. It is also hard for residents to reach other communities for exchange or trade to improve their quality of life.

The National Institute of Statistics (INEI) reports that over half of the rural population in Peru lives in poverty. The lack of roads and highways makes it difficult to escape this condition. Moreover, the limited transportation services in these remote areas tend to be expensive, unreliable and even dangerous.

The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank joined forces in 2006 to create the Decentralized Rural Transport Program in Peru. This project is designed to improve and maintain rural roads, reducing transportation costs for local inhabitants and ultimately promoting the development of Peru’s poorest communities.


" The program also includes a ‘local development window’ in 28 provinces, where commodity sales strategies are part of the technical assistance provided and which enable capacity building to increase income-generation activities in an effort to reduce poverty in rural areas,  "

María Margarita Nuñez

Task Team Leader of the Decentralized Rural Transport Program

Results

Currently, the program covers over 26,000 kilometers of rural roads. Of these, 3,000 kilometers have been rehabilitated; 2,000 kilometers of foot paths have been improved; 5,000 kilometers receive periodic maintenance; and more than 16,000 kilometers receive routine maintenance.

But the roads not only improve access to communities. Along with the rehabilitation and maintenance of these roads, the program has contributed to the establishment of 808 microenterprises for rural road maintenance, which operate in 20 regions of the country.

 “The program also includes a ‘local development window’ in 28 provinces, where commodity sales strategies are part of the technical assistance provided and which enable capacity building to increase income-generation activities in an effort to reduce poverty in rural areas,” said María Margarita Nuñez, director of the Decentralized Rural Transport Program.


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