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The World Bank approved an allocation of US$45 million equivalent to finance the transformative Central Asia Roads Links Program

The Central Asia Road Links (CARs) program is a collaborative regional, multi-phase program initiated by governments of Central Asia. The objective of this program is to increase transport connectivity between neighboring countries in Central Asia while supporting improvements in road operations and maintenance practices.

The first phase of the Central Asia Road Links Program (CARs-1) will rehabilitate cross-border road links between Osh and Batken oblasts in the Kyrgyz Republic and Sugd oblast in the Republic of Tajikistan.

CARs-1 in the Kyrgyz Republic will focus on the rehabilitation of about 56 kilometers of road sections in Batken oblast along and within close vicinity of the Osh-Batken-Isfana-Khudjant road corridor. Specifically, those road sections include: Isfana - Kairagach/Madaniyat border crossing (36 kilometers), Batken- Tortkul (14 kilometers), and Batken - Kyzyl Bel/Guliston border crossing (6 kilometers).

Another important goal of the CARS-1 project will be the improvement of road operations and maintenance by the Osh-Batken-Isfana Roads Department, which will be responsible for routine maintenance and emergency works for the entire Osh-Batken-Isfana corridor. The project will support the Department and its local maintenance units through a set of equipment worth US$1 million as well as training covering best international road maintenance practices. In addition, the project will help the Kyrgyz Ministry of Transport and Communication to review regional norms and standards on vehicle weight, axle load limits and tariffication, as well as develop a strategic plan for the institutional arrangements for transport control.

It is estimated that the project will directly benefit about 680,000 residents of Batken and Osh oblasts who are expected to be regular road users travelling along the road sections. Indirectly, the improved connectivity will benefit more than three million residents of the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan.  

The CARs-1 project will be implemented over five years by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Transport and Communication. The World Bank's total contribution of US$45 million equivalent consists of US$36.8 million equivalent provided as a highly concessional credit, and US$8.2 million equivalent as a grant. The Kyrgyz Republic's own contribution will be US$9 million.

The CARS-1 project is designed as part of a sequence of projects with multiple countries. Not all participating countries would need to start at the same time, but rather each would begin when ready.


 

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