Tajikistan Gets Additional $20 Million ADB Grant to Improve Key Highway

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Tajikistan is obtaining an additional $20 million grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve sections of a major road that links its capital Dushanbe to neighbor Kyrgyz Republic.

ADB’s Board of Directors has approved a supplementary grant to be sourced from its concessional Asian Development Fund (ADF) to help upgrade over 120 kilometers of the Dushanbe-Kyrgyz Border Road. The Government of Tajikistan is providing an additional $5 million for the road works.

ADB has been funding several rehabilitation works for the highway which passes through Central Asia, spurring regional connectivity, trade, and jobs. In 2005, ADB approved an ADF loan and a grant totaling $30 million for the Dushanbe-Kyrgyz Border Road.

The surge in trade and traffic along the route has sharply exceeded original project forecasts, leading to premature deterioration of the road surface.

"The rehabilitated road will reduce travel time and transport costs as well as improve access and prices for agricultural goods, create job opportunities, encourage commercial activities and improve the delivery of services, especially to the poor, women and children," said Hee Young Hong, Financial Specialist for ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. The project will generate employment for returning migrant workers from Russia and Kazakhstan.

The supplementary fund will be used to improve several areas of the highway, including an emergency bypass road, and a section near the border with Kyrgyz Republic that is prone to landslides.

The highway passes through some of Tajikistan's poorest parts. Its dilapidated condition has left many areas isolated and unable to easily transport goods to market.