WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2014 - Today the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of US$150 million to the People’s Republic of China to improve rural roads network and increase the accessibility of education, healthcare and markets to the rural people of Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou Province in southwest China.
Guizhou is a heavily mountainous, landlocked province inhabited by many ethnic minorities. It is also one of the poorest provinces in China on a GDP per capita basis. In Guiyang Municipality, about 30 percent of the population lives in the rural areas, and about one fourth of the rural population lives under the national poverty line. The Guiyang Rural Roads Project will support the Guiyang Municipal Government’s efforts to alleviate poverty and reduce urban-rural disparities by improving the rural road network.
“The project roads will pass through up to 339 administrative villages, where more than 703,000 people live, many of whom are poor ethnic minorities,” said Holly Krambeck, World Bank Transport Economist and Task Team Leader of the project. “All people, including the poor and women, in the project area will benefit from more working opportunities during and after the project. They will earn more income from their labor and farm products and will have better access to critical services, such as education and health care facilities,” she added.
The project will upgrade, improve, or rehabilitate about 940 km of rural roads and support a rural road maintenance pilot in Guiyang. Upon completion, the project-financed roads would substantially improve connectivity in the project area and benefit transporters and passengers through shorter travel times and lower road accident rates.
This is the second transport project that the World Bank has financed in Guiyang. The Guiyang Transport Project, which was completed in 2013, financed the rehabilitation and upgrading of rural roads, as well as construction of a new urban arterial, construction of rural bus stations, and provision of technical assistance including the development of a GIS-based rural road maintenance system.