WASHINGTON, October 30, 2015 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$80 million financing to the Republic of Moldova for the Local Roads Improvement Project, which will support the Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure in rehabilitating and upgrading around 300 km of local roads.
The funding aims to provide safe and sustainable local road accessibility to education, health and market facilities along selected corridors, with a focus on improving roads that will enable children from rural areas to better access consolidated schools - “hub schools” - resulting from the optimization of the school network. The project aims to address the country’s need for an efficient transport system that would facilitate citizens’ mobility, improved access to social and economic services, and greater trade in international and domestic markets.
“Moldova’s proximity to the largest market in the world - the European Union - highlights the importance of adequate transport infrastructure for economic competitiveness and export-driven growth”, said Alex Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. “In addition, Moldova’s demographic realities and the income gap with its EU neighbors means that roads should be urgently modernized to facilitate Moldovans’ access to better public services and economic opportunities to support sustainable and inclusive development.”
The current state of Moldova’s roads is a major impediment to the rural population’s access to quality health and education services. Improvements to local roads are also critical for the agriculture sector. They enhance linkages between farms and markets and help create additional economic opportunities for farmers and farm workers, who are facing some of the highest poverty rates in the country at around 40 percent.
The objectives of the Local Roads Improvement Project are to:
- Finance the rehabilitation and upgrading of about 300 km of priority local roads with a focus on providing road access between villages and the national road network through good connectivity and cost-effective solutions; and
- Support road sector institutional strengthening to maintain and improve the regional and local road networks, with a focus on helping strengthen road fund expenditure, monitoring and evaluation, developing local roads planning and construction standards, and supporting a local roads safety program among others.
Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, over US$1 billion has been allocated to approximately 60 projects in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 8 active projects with a total commitment of US$255 million. Areas of support include regulatory reform and business development, education, social assistance, e-governance, healthcare, agriculture, environment, and others.
The International Finance Corporation has invested US$233 million in 24 projects in various sectors, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency has provided guarantees totaling US$95 million. Both institutions are members of the World Bank Group.