WASHINGTON, July 17, 2017—The World Bank approved today a 64 million euro IDA* credit ($70 million equivalent) for the Mali Rural Mobility and Connectivity Project. The project will rehabilitate about 1,700 km of rural roads in Koulikoro (dryland zone) and Sikasso (southern zone) regions of Mali.
The project will directly benefit about 650,000 people, mostly farming communities living near the rehabilitated roads. Women will benefit in particular as they perform a significant part of agricultural work in these communities and are currently isolated from markets and basic services due to poor road access.
“The engine of the Malian economy is agriculture, and road access is part of the integrated approach to address the low-productivity of rural farmers. Currently, isolation to markets and services remains a major bottleneck for the rural population where the majority of the poor lives, and this project will address that issue,” said Soukeyna Kane, World Bank Country Director for Mali.
The Mali Rural Mobility and Connectivity Project will help boost agricultural productivity by improving roads access that will facilitate the distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers, and the marketing of agricultural surpluses. The project will provide construction-related jobs during the civil works and related routine road maintenance phases and finance road safety activities adapted to the rural context.
“The project will also improve access to basic services like schools, health centers and government offices. It will finance small common facilities for the direct beneficiaries such as water wells, small warehouse, vegetable garden perimeters for women to foster social cohesion and greater women empowerment,” said Cheick Diallo, World Bank Task Team Leader of the project.
This project will contribute to achieve the outcomes of Mali Country Partnership Framework (CPF), and is closely linked to one of its key objectives which is to create economic opportunities for rural populations, especially smallholder farms.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans 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 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.
For more information on World Bank activities in Mali, please visit: https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/mali
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For more information on IDA: https://ida.worldbank.org/
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