Overview - Kazakhstan South-West Roads Project

By Richard High17 June 2009

The World Bank has agreed to lend Kazakhstan US$ 2.13 billion for the Kazakhstan South-West Roads Pr

The World Bank has agreed to lend Kazakhstan US$ 2.13 billion for the Kazakhstan South-West Roads Project. The money will be used to help upgrade a 1062 km stretch highway linking China to Russia thro

A US$ 2.13 billion loan for the Kazakhstan South-West Roads Project will help upgrade the trade route linking China to Russia and Western Europe through Kazakhstan, bringing economic stimulus to some of Kazakhstan's poorest provinces.

The project will boost Kazakhstan's competitiveness and bring significant economic benefits both to Kazakhstan and to the broader Central Asia region.

Much of the road network in Kazakhstan was constructed during the Soviet era and has deteriorated since then due to lack of maintenance. Half of the roads in the country's network need maintenance or full reconstruction.

Kazakhstan's road safety record is poor with road accidents and fatality rates increasing in recent years. The current unsatisfactory condition of roads in the country prevents development of international and regional trade and limits access of rural communities to essential public services and work opportunities.

The World Bank will finance and rehabilitate a 1062 km stretch of road between Shymkent and the Aktobe/Kyzylorda Oblast border. This will be part of a US$ 7.5 billion International Transit Corridor development program of the Government of Kazakhstan to upgrade approximately 2800 km of the CAREC corridors within Kazakhstan linking China (at Khorgos) to Russia (at Zhaisan).

"Upgrading this key road will give a major stimulus to the Kazakh economy because construction of new stretches of the road and rehabilitation of the existing sections will create about 35,000 new jobs and will generate substantial indirect benefits to most of the population in the Kazakh provinces of Kyzylorda and South Kazakhstan Oblasts, which are the poorest parts of the country," said Sergei Shatalov, World Bank country manager in Kazakhstan.

"The road will improve access to markets for the local communities living along the Corridor, and stands to benefit some three million people living in the neighboring provinces. Such a stimulus is very important at this time of the crisis."

The Project comprises five components:

  • Upgrading and reconstructing a road section along the Corridor within Kyzylorda Oblast, excluding Kyzylorda bypass;
  • Upgrading and reconstructing road sections along the Corridor within South Kazakhstan Oblast and the Kyzylorda bypass;
  • Project Management Consultants to assist the Committee for Roads with the management of all activities associated with the Project;
  • Institutional development and preparation of action plans to improve road safety and road services; and
  • Consulting services for supervision of civil works.
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