WASHINGTON, June 30, 2021—The World Bank approved a $200 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to improve the longevity, safety, and climate resiliency of 1,200 km of roads in Madagascar. The Madagascar Road Sector Sustainability Project also supports the use of improved maintenance standards and practices, such as the use of climate resilience standards, the undertaking of road safety audits, and will pilot new and important contracting modalities such as performance-based contracts.
“Two-thirds of all passengers and goods travel by road in Madagascar, making it the country’s leading mode of transport. Investing in roads is smart economics and ensuring the maintenance of these key investments is the surest thing for their sustainability,” said Marie-Chantal Uwanyiligira, World Bank Country Manager for Madagascar. “Given that the costs of maintenance are estimated at $300 million per year, this project aims to leverage government efforts through its own budget and road fund. Strong road sector management institutions and maintenance policies will set the basis for attracting more investments in the road sector.”
This project takes a holistic approach that will seek to address key road sector sustainability challenges at technical, financial, and governance levels, but will also aim to strengthen climate resilience, road safety, and gender and social dimensions. Through periodic and routine maintenance, the project will increase the serviceability and longevity of selected roads. It will also support increasing the resources available for maintenance in the sector by at least 50%. The project will underpin critical reforms to advance road safety and the implementation of the national road safety action plan. Furthermore, several technical, capacity building, and institutional measures will increase the resilience of Madagascar’s road sector and will be mainstreamed in the investments under this project. It will moreover contribute to closing gender gaps in the road sector and will create significant temporary jobs for the poor and low skilled in road construction and maintenance.
“Improving road connectivity is critical for improving the population’s access to markets, services, healthcare, and education. This project is part of an ambitious program being designed to address key connectivity bottlenecks in Madagascar and is primarily focused on the maintenance and preservation of the existing paved road network to ensure that past and future investments are not lost,” said Ziad Nakat, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.
This project will support the continuation and acceleration of road sector reforms started by the government in 2019. The World Bank’s involvement is triggering a systematic and sustainable approach to road maintenance in Madagascar, supporting important sector reforms and new technical know-how.
*The World Bank’s International Development Association, 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 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61% going to Africa.