The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $49.65m for upgrading 105km of road connecting the capital, Dili, and the second-largest town, Baucau, located on the north coast in Timor-Leste.
The project will also receive financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
ADB Timor-Leste Resident Mission principal infrastructure specialist Richard Phelps said: “The road network in Timor-Leste has been deteriorated due to lack of investment in maintenance and rehabilitation, constraining the country’s efforts to develop.
“Once upgraded, the road is expected to stimulate economic activity, particularly tourism, and create employment opportunities in the country.”
The road upgraded along the 105km stretch will be resilient to climate change, as well as would reduce travel time for the passenger and cargo traffic.
The concerned road contractors of the project will be responsible maintaining the road for three years after completing construction before handing over the responsibility to the government.
The ADB approved loan will have a 25-year term, with 3% of interest annually during the 5-year grace period.
The project is estimated to cost $126.58m, with JICA providing $49.74m and the Government of Timor-Leste contributing $27.19m.
ADB will continue to work closely with JICA and the World Bank to support the ongoing implementation of the government’s road upgrading program.
ADB is also extending its support for the national road safety action plan that will positively impact all donor-financed projects in Timor-Leste, including road safety awareness campaigns in roadside communities and schools.
Established in 1966, Manila-based ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
Image: ADB and JICA provide financial support for road upgrade in Timor-Leste. Photo: courtesy of Asian Development Bank.