WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 – The World Bank’s Board approved US$19.5 million for Niger to increase transport access in its vast rural areas.
“The project is a vital step to improving inclusion and increasing jobs in rural areas across Niger,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Chad, Guinea, Mali and Niger. “Giving access to health services, trade, and schools through improvement of transport in the rural areas is important for economic growth in the country and improving lives of people.”
The proposed additional financing will complement the original project and scale-up the project’s positive impacts in densely populated rural areas such as Dosso, Maradi, Tahoua, Tillabery and Zinder regions of southwestern and southern Niger. In addition to improving rural mobility, the project will provide rural residents with all-season links to markets and access to health, medical and education centers. Populations living in proximity to the road will benefit from temporary jobs created by civil works.
“Boosting access to transport in rural areas, investing in road maintenance and management are key priorities of our work in Niger,” said Supee Teravaninthorn, World Bank Sector Manager for Transport in the Africa Region. “The overall project will finance road rehabilitation works and improve mobility in rural areas.”
The objectives of the additional financing project are to improve physical access of the rural population to vibrant markets and services on selected unpaved sections of Niger’s national road network, and strengthen Niger’s institutional framework for better management and implementation of road maintenance programs acrossthe country.
“The additional financing will help build national capacities for more effective road management,” said Aguiratou Savadogo-Tinto, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist in the Africa Region. “We look forward to effective implementation of this key project.” The project has two components: (1) Periodic maintenance and rehabilitation of unpaved roads component (2) Institutional support to the main transport sector players through provision of capacity building and assistance in management and execution of road maintenance activities component.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) 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 81 poorest countries, 39 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 $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.