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The World Bank has approved a $400 million International Development Association (*IDA) grant to support the Republic of Mozambique’s Safe Roads for Economic Integration project. The project aims to improve road connectivity, safety and climate resilience, as well as promote greater social inclusion in the project areas.

“Roads are vital to economic activity, growth, social inclusion and poverty reduction,” noted Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles. “This operation is essential to revitalizing Mozambique’s north-south roads and thus integrating the fragile central-northern provinces with the rest of the country by rehabilitating priority road sections of the N1 North-South corridor.”

The bulk of the project’s funds will go towards funding the design and rehabilitation of safer and more climate-resilient roads, which will include road improvements and maintenance. A total of 508 kilometers of selected priority road sections will be restored. These include: Metora – Pemba (94 kilometers) in the province of Cabo Delgado; Gorongosa – Kaya Lot 1 (0-84 kilometers), Gorongosa – Kaya Lot 2 (84-168 kilometers) and Inchope – Gorongosa (70 kilometers) in Safala Province; and Chimuara – Nicoadala Lot 1 (0-88 kilometers) and Chimuara – Nicoadala Lot 2 (88-176 kilometers) in Zambezia Province. Other activities funded by the project will promote community involvement and women’s empowerment; improve road safety management, institutional development and project management; and develop a conditional emergency response.

“The project will also support road sector reforms aimed at improving road safety, better maintenance and management of road assets, improving road sector financing mechanisms and improving disaster preparedness,” added Nargis Ryskulova, senior transport specialist at the World Bank and project manager. “The project is part of the Multi-Phase Program Approach (MPA), also approved by Council today, which will unlock an indicative funding envelope of $850 million to support the road sector of the Republic of Mozambique. The MPA is designed for ten years.”

The N1 corridor is the longest road corridor in the country, connecting the southern province of Maputo with the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado. The unstable and conflict-affected areas in central and northern Mozambique are not sufficiently integrated into the rest of the economy, contributing to the spread of poverty and reinforcing the root causes of instability and insecurity. Improving the N1 would increase the accessibility of the domestic market, unlock the potential of agriculture and tourism and benefit about 56% of the population. In addition, climate change and the increased frequency of tropical cyclones in Mozambique are having a devastating impact on road infrastructure. Finally, Mozambique has one of the highest road death rates in the world, and cases of sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (SEA/SH) are widespread in the country. This project will aim to solve many of these problems.

The project is fully in line with the National Development Strategy of Mozambique for 2015-2035 and the Framework Program of World Bank cooperation with the country for the 23-27 financial years, which is currently being prepared. The project is also aligned with Mozambique’s long-term road sector development strategy 2020-2024, the World Bank’s Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025. and Africa’s Next Generation Climate Business Plan.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and loans at low and interest-free rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of poor people. The IDA is one of the largest sources of aid for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources are making a positive difference to the 1.3 billion people living in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the past three years (FY19-21), of which Africa accounts for about 70 percent.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the World Bank Group.

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