KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (20 September 2017) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved an additional $30 million grant to further improve maintenance works on sections of Afghanistan’s regional highways and road networks in a bid to enhance the sustainability of the country’s transport sector.

“Since 2002, we have seen efforts to rebuild and reconstruct around 8,000 kilometers of roads in Afghanistan, but there is still a need to make sure that they are maintained,” said Nana Soetantri, Transport Specialist at ADB's Central and West Asia Department. “Having a functional and reliable transport sector is an important pillar for Afghanistan to recover economically. ADB remains committed to help the country achieve its growth and development goals.”

The additional financing of the Road Asset Management Project will help finance the gap arising from changes in financing arrangements as well as in revisions of the project’s scope. This includes priority maintenance works for the Southern National Ring Road of Afghanistan’s regional highway from Ghazni to Kandahar, which is considered as an economic lifeline of the country’s eastern region. The additional financing will also include a capacity development component to introduce sustainable practices in road asset management and road maintenance.

About 220 kilometers in the Kabul-Jalalabad highway and the Kabul-Kandahar highway from Kabul to Ghazni were selected for maintenance due to their economic and strategic importance. The overall project will facilitate regional connectivity, improve the quality and efficiency of road transport services, and promote inclusive economic growth in Afghanistan.

This follows the approval of a $25.5 million ADB grant in October last year to establish sustainable road management practices for the country’s major highways, including classroom and on-the-job training to build the technical capacity of the Ministry of Public Works on road asset management practices.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

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