ADB to Upgrade CAREC Road in Northern Tajikistan

DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $100 million grant to help Tajikistan upgrade a vital road between Ayni-Panjakent and the Uzbek border in northern Tajikistan.

The road is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 6 that spans about 10,000 km linking Europe and the Russian Federation to the Middle East and South Asia.

The 113-km road — part of the historic Silk Road — runs along the Zarafshan River through the Zarafshan Valley, crossing the Ayni and Panjakent districts before ending at the border with Uzbekistan.

“Improvements to this road will increase regional connectivity, reduce transport costs, and strengthen competitiveness,” said Zheng Wu, Transport Specialist at ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “This will also improve access to markets and social services for impoverished local communities; stimulate development of agriculture, tourism and mining industries that in return create job opportunities; and improve the region’s living standards.”

The grant will finance road upgrading and improvements to drainage structures and bridges, improve of road safety, upgrade the Sarazm border post infrastructure, and bolster community development, including improving feeder roads, public facilities and training local communities.

The grant will be sourced from the Asian Development Fund.

The Government of Tajikistan will provide counterpart funding of $22 million, and the OPEC Fund for International Development will provide a $14 million cofinancing loan. The Ministry of Transport will be the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion in 2016.

Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, and to date the institution has cumulatively approved a total assistance of more than $966 million in concessional loans, grants and technical assistance to the country. ADB’s operations benefit the population by reducing isolation, increasing communication, broadening access to electricity, improving social services, and creating more income-generating opportunities.

CAREC promotes project-based cooperation in transport, energy, trade facilitation, and trade policy. The CAREC partnership comprises 10 countries — Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — and six multilateral institutions: ADB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank. ADB has served as the CAREC Secretariat since 2001.