WASHINGTON, March 31, 2015 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an additional financing in the amount of US$73.6 million to support the implementation of the Government of Mozambique’s Second Phase of the Roads and Bridges Management and Maintenance Program.
Due to its geography, Mozambique faces continuous and increasing vulnerability to severe weather events and floods that cause widespread losses and damage to infrastructure. This third additional financing credit to the Roads and Bridges Management and Maintenance Program fills a financing gap for flood-related road rehabilitation works in southern Gaza Province following severe flooding in the lower Limpopo River basin in 2013.
“Damages inflicted by recurrent floods to the road network isolate many rural communities, preventing them access to basic services, markets and transports,” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros. “We are pleased to support the Government of Mozambique in its efforts to improve access of the population to all-season roads through greater maintenance, rehabilitation and upgrading of the classified road network.”
The majority of Gaza Province’s road network is located in the Limpopo River basin and is prone to inland flooding. Over 70 percent of the provincial road network – about 2,200 km of roads – sustained damage in the 2013 floods. The Government of Mozambique estimated the required road network rehabilitation would cost approximately US$183.0 million. To mitigate the vulnerability of those affected by the floods, in December of 2013, the World Bank provided additional financing to the Program equivalent to US$70.15 million for road rehabilitation and enhanced flood resilience. The immediate emergency repairs were completed in 2014. This third additional financing of US$73.6 million funds the planned road sector recovery efforts in Gaza province.
“We believe that improved market access for food products, which constitute a substantial share of the household expenditures of poor households, combined with lower transportation costs resulting from rehabilitated roads, will help curb poverty down at the community level and lower inflation risk,” said Kulwinder Singh Rao, Sr. Highway Engineer and Team Leader for the project.
The primary objective of the Roads and Bridges Management and Maintenance Program is to stimulate growth and contribute to poverty reduction through improved road infrastructure, better sector policies, and enhanced roads sector management. This project is aligned with the Government’s priorities for the sector as well as its poverty reduction strategy, and is consistent with the Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy with Mozambique.