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$44m road upgrades

Asian Development Bank (Adb)
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

THE Asian Development Bank's (ADB) board of directors has approved a total of $44 million in total financing — consisting of a $19m regular loan and a $25m concessional loan — to upgrade 58 kilometers of roads from Baucau to Viqueque and improve connectivity in Timor-Leste.

"Currently, it takes 10 hours to travel between Dili and Viqueque by bus. The existing Baucau to Viqueque national road corridor, essential to Timor-Leste's economic activities, is generally in poor condition being narrow and mostly unsealed," said Paolo Spantigati, ADB Country Director for Timor-Leste.

"The Baucau to Viqueque Highway Project will open up access to schools, clinics, and other community services."

ADB, in co-operation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is also financing the upgrade on the highway between Dili and Baucau. The project will make the roads safer and more resilient to climate change effects, while reducing travel time and costs for passengers and cargo traffic. It will also strengthen and build the capacity of the road sector institutions and staff.

Once upgraded, the road is expected to stimulate the broader economic development of agriculture-rich and high tourism potential districts on Timor-Leste's southern coast.

The project will prepare a comprehensive strategy and plan for road maintenance and strengthen the maintenance unit under the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation, and Communication, complementing JICA's work in this area.

ADB will continue to work closely with development partners to support the ongoing implementation of the government's road upgrading program. ADB is also supporting a 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.

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