BISHKEK (TCA) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a total of $78 million to complete the rehabilitation of a road that connects two major transport corridors linking the land-locked country to international markets, the Bank’s Country Office said on November 2.
The new loan supplements financing to an existing ADB-supported project to improve regional connectivity, mobility, and economic activity in the Kyrgyz Republic by improving regional transport corridors around the country.
The additional assistance, composed of a $68.5 million loan and a $9.5 million grant from the Asian Development Fund, will improve two road sections on the North–South Alternate Corridor, namely Balychy–km marker 43 and Kochkor–Epkin, totaling 68 kilometers (km), to provide a faster, alternative route between the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridors 1 and 3.
“The Kyrgyz Republic depends heavily on road transport,” said ADB Principal Portfolio Management Specialist Mr. Narendra Singru. “Weak domestic and regional connectivity has hindered the country’s economic growth and development, which also limits mobility and economic opportunities for its citizens. This project addresses some of these issues by promoting the movement of cargo and passengers and improving access to regional economic centers.”
In 2016, ADB approved $114.35 million in the form of a loan and grant for the CAREC Corridors 1 and 3 Connector Road Project to rehabilitate the 70 km Epkin–Bashkugandy section of the North–South Alternate Corridor linking Balykchy with Jalal-Abad. The project aimed to improve connectivity and mobility, link economically underprivileged regions in the Kyrgyz Republic with economic hubs, as well as strengthen the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Transport and Roads.
Apart from rehabilitating another 68 km of road sections, the CAREC Corridors 1 and 3 Connector Road Project, Phase 2 will also incorporate climate change adaptation mechanisms in the road designs to enhance climate change resilience, and will continue to support the Kyrgyz government in improving road safety in the country.
Since 1996, ADB has financed 11 road projects and five advisory technical assistance projects in the Kyrgyz Republic totalling $658 million. ADB assistance has rehabilitated and improved an estimated 985 km of roads in key regional corridors, including the CAREC Corridor 3 Bishkek-Osh and CAREC Corridor 1 Bishkek-Torugart roads.