Nepal’s Rural Access Programme (RAP) has won the International Road Federation’s 2009 Global Road Achievement Award for reducing poverty through road building.

Launched in 2000, the programme has built nearly 633km of roads in rural Nepal and further aims to build 365km of road in its second phase.

The RAP mobilised nearly 47,000 local people for the first phase, 33% of the total labour force being women, and have built roads in rural areas including Doti, Achham and Dailekh in the far-western region and Sankhuwasabha, Khotang, Bhojpur and Tehrathum in eastern region.

The received funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) with a financial assistance of £36m ($58.6m).

DFID is also funding £17m ($27.7m) for its second phase.

RAP, which is designed to promote road transport infrastructure as a means of improving the livelihoods and economic development of the poorest in 7 out of 75 districts in Nepal, has influenced major national policies, including the government’s three-year plan, according to DFID.