ADB to offer $900m to improve road network in Sri Lanka
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a $900m loan to upgrade road infrastructure in Sri Lanka, intended to improve networks and connect rural populations to jobs and services.
The loan amount will be used to upgrade 3,400km of rural access roads to all-weather standard.
Around 340km of national roads in the eastern, northern, Uva, and western provinces will also be improved using the loan facility.
Furthermore, the road improvement programme aims to strengthen the capacity of the road agencies in the country, helping them to improve road safety, maintenance, research, design, and construction.
ADB Senior Transport Specialist Kanzo Nakai said: "Improving Sri Lanka’s poor rural transport infrastructure is key to achieving the government’s development goals, which include generating one million jobs, boosting income levels, and developing the rural economy.
"ADB’s second integrated road investment programme aligns with the government strategy to fully connect rural development centres with upgraded rural access roads in an area that is home to about ten million people."
Expected to be completed by 2027, the programme will be financed in five tranches up to 2021, beginning with a regular loan of $90m and a concessional loan of $60m this year.
The government will meet $184.6m of the $1.08bn total programme cost.
In 2014, ADB approved $800m multitranche financing facility to upgrade the road network in central, north-central, north- western, Sabaragamuwa, and southern provinces and a part of the western province.
Image: The programme will upgrade Sri Lanka’s road network to connect vast rural populations to jobs and services. Photo: courtesy of Asian Development Bank.