The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has providing $170m in funding to Mongolia for road improvements along a transport corridor in western Mongolia.

The money will help the country reduce the region’s isolation and help development in the country’s poorest areas.

Steven Lewis-Workman, ADB’s East Asia Department Transport Economist, said: "The remote western region of Mongolia suffers from high levels of poverty and underdevelopment, partly as a result of the lack of paved roads.

"Building paved roads in an area where there are very few will bring broad social and economic benefits, including increased access to jobs and markets both within Mongolia and with neighboring countries," Workman said.

The funds for the Western Regional Road Corridor Investment Programme will be released through a multitranche financing facility and around $45m will be provided in the first installment.

Under the programme, more than 290km of regional roads will be built, rehabilitated and constructed, with a few connecting local roads will also being built.

The plans will also equip three road maintenance units, as well as providing training and other capacity development support for road sector institutions.

The investment will complement another ongoing ADB road project in the corridor, helping to complete the Western Regional Road.

The route links Mongolia to the Russian Federation in the north and China in the south; it is one of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme’s priority corridors designed to boost trade, tourism and investment amongst ADB member countries.

The first part of loan will have a 32 year grace period will come from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund, while two other installments will be provided subsequently.

The Mongolian Government will contribute $92m to the $262m project and the programme will run for eight years with an expected completion date of December 2020.