MANILA, PHILIPPINES (20 November 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $67.49 million grant to enhance the safety and reliability of the national road network in southern Tajikistan and promote the economic participation of women in the area.

“Tajikistan relies heavily on road transport for international and domestic movement of goods and people,” said ADB Transport Specialist for Central and West Asia Rika Idei. “But much of the national road network has deteriorated and is unsafe, hindering the livelihoods and daily economic activities of local people. The project will help to strengthen Tajikistan’s road network by introducing important climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, and road safety features.”

The project will rehabilitate two existing national road sections in the Khatlon Region: from Dangara to Okmazor (28.7 km) and from Hulbuk to Kangurt (59.5 km), which currently support traffic volumes of 4,200 vehicles and 1,300 vehicles per day, respectively.

Both sections link up with Asian Highway 66, a vital road connection between Asian and European countries. The project will contribute to the goals of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program by improving connectivity and competitiveness of key national roads that connect to international corridors.

The project will help the Ministry of Transport operationalize a road asset management system by developing a data inventory of the country’s arterial highways and train staff to collect and analyze condition data. The database will enable the government to prepare annual maintenance plans and ensure adequate budget for maintenance.

Women in the project area will benefit from access to a knowledge distribution program on business development and household financial management skills through their mobile phones. The project will also help improve access for women to grants for starting new businesses.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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