DILI, TIMOR-LESTE (26 November 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Timor-Leste have signed a loan agreement for an ADB-supported initiative that is helping Timor-Leste upgrade and sustain the country’s national road network.

ADB Country Director for Timor-Leste Mr. Paolo Spantigati with Vice Minister and Acting Minister of Finance Ms. Sara Lobo Brites signed the loan agreement in Dili.

“Not only will the project improve connectivity, it will reduce travel time along the north-south land transport link, which is essential for the growth of economic activities from Dili to Viqueque,” said Mr. Spantigati.

The project will make the roads safer and more resilient to climate change effects, while reducing travel time and costs for passengers and cargo traffic. It will also strengthen and build the capacity of the transport and road sector institutions and staff.

Under the project, 58 kilometers of national roads from Baucau to Viqueque will be upgraded. The improved roads will be more resilient to increased rainfall due to improved roadside drainage, raising of the road in flood-prone areas, resilient asphalt pavement surfacing, and bioengineering measures to improve slope stability.

Sheltered bus stops with lights at junctions of key feeder roads will be built, public toilets erected, and communities will be provided better access to drinking water.

Through the project, ADB will also support the government to develop comprehensive road maintenance strategy and establish a national land transport authority.

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 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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