The Australian Government has granted a soft loan and a grant of AUS $328m for the construction of 500km roads under the Eastern Indonesia National Roads Improvement Programme (EINRIP).

An interest free loan of AUS $300m to improve the condition of national road and bridge network and AUS $28m in grant assistance for planning and design of these roads and bridges have been provided.

These funds will be spent across nine provinces of Indonesia: South Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, and North Sulawesi, Antara News reports.

EINRIP aims to address the infrastructure disparity in Indonesia, especially in the eastern region of the country and it is expected to support other sectors such as trade and economy.

The work on EINRIP projects already started in February 2009 and will continue until 2011.