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Mozambique gets US$150M for rural roads in support of agricultural productivity

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The World Bank approved today an International Development Association (IDA)* grant of $150 million in support of the Government of Mozambique’s Integrated Feeder Road Development Project that will enhance road access in the provinces of Zambezia and Nampula, where most of the country’s rural poor live.

The average income from farm activities in the project’s target provinces is three times lower than in the rest of the country due to poor rural access, among other factors. About 6.5 million rural dwellers do not have access to a road in good or fair condition in Mozambique, and climate shocks and natural disasters exacerbate chronic low agricultural productivity. This project will specifically target 10 districts in Zambezia and Nampula Provinces with high agricultural potential and a total population of around 2.2 million people, of which approximately 1.5 million live below the poverty line. Another area of focus will be the rehabilitation of the primary road network, specifically the sections of N1 and N10 (Quelimane to Namacurra ‐ 70 km), which have an average annual daily traffic ranging from 1,700 to 2,600 vehicles.

“Given Mozambique’s fiscal constraints and recurrent extreme climate‐risk vulnerability, the country faces challenges balancing investments needed to maintain and expand its secondary and tertiary road networks, which primarily serve rural agricultural areas. This project brings a much-needed support to address just that,” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros.

The project will also benefit several government agencies, including the National Territorial Transportation Institute (INATTER) and traffic police, but also the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), as they address road safety and climate change emergencies. “Given Mozambique’s high road fatality rates, ranking at 165 out of 173 countries, this project will also support government authorities in their efforts to reduce traffic accidents,” said Kulwinder Singh Rao, the World Bank’s task team leader for the operation.

This operation is consistent with the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity through access to infrastructure. It is in line with the World Bank Country Partnership Framework 2017-2021 for Mozambique and supports the government’s priorities as set forth in its Five-Year Plan, Plano Quinquenal do Governo.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.

Source: ReliefWeb

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