60000 Km In Five Years

25 March 2008

The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's fund for the world's poorest countries, has announced that it built, rehabilitated or maintained 60000 km of rural roads in the last five years.

About 14% of total IDA funding, or US$ 1 billion, is spent on rural roads annually. This equates to US$ 540 million on transport sector projects and another US$ 475 million on multi-sectoral projects. Under this funding, about 46700 km of rural roads were constructed or rehabilitated and another 12700 km maintained in the last five years, benefiting about 60 million people.

IDA research shows that access to roads improves economic prosperity.

In Bangladesh, for example, IDA road improvement projects led to a +27% increase in agricultural wages and an +11% increase in per capita consumption. The incidence of “moderate” and “extreme” poverty fell by between -5 and -7%.

However, the IDA says roughly 1 billion of the world's poorest people are still without access to roads.

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