The World Bank has authorized a $500 million loan for Sri Lanka’s Inclusive Connectivity and Development Project to create safe, climate-resilient roads to connect agricultural supply chains.
The World Bank stated in a statement that this project will assist around 16 million people living in rural communities in Sri Lanka’s chosen districts.
Roads transport around 95 % of people and 98 % of goods in Sri Lanka. Only 67 % of provincial highways and 13 % of rural roads are in good condition, despite the fact that practically all national routes are paved.
According to the World Bank, Sri Lanka has the highest rate of road fatalities in South Asia, with over 3,000 deaths each year.
An uninterrupted road network is critical for connecting rural people to health and education facilities as well as other economic prospects, as well as connecting small-holder farmers to domestic and foreign markets.
This project is part of the government’s national development strategy’s development programme to improve 100,000 kilometers of rural roads.
For a more resilient future in Sri Lanka, the project will help build green and climate-resilient transportation and agricultural logistics, as well as mainstream climate resilience principles in infrastructure design and investments.
The initiative will also generate a large number of short-term job opportunities, which will aid in the post-pandemic recovery.
The project will expand on ongoing provincial and rural road repair projects funded by the World Bank’s Transport Connectivity and Asset Management Project and the Asian Development Bank’s iRoad I and II Integrated Road Investment Programs.