US$ 175 billion transport programme agreed

By Helen Wright21 June 2012

A group of multilateral development banks have committed to providing over US$ 175 billion in loans and grants to support transport programmes in developing countries over the next decade.

The agreement was reached during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which is taking place between 20 and 22 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The funding will come from the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Development Bank of Latin America, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and the World Bank.

ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said, "Developing countries have the opportunity to leapfrog to a greener future of less motorisation, shorter commutes, and more energy efficient transport systems."

According to the ADB, inadequate transport continues to exacerbate poverty and inequality in many regions of the world, inhibiting access to schools, healthcare, markets, and job opportunities.

The joint multilateral development bank investment is intended to help develop more environmentally-friendly, accessible, affordable, and safe transport solutions.

ADB highlighted several green transportation solutions it is already supporting across Asia, including low-cost electric vehicles in the Philippines, urban metro systems in Viet Nam, bus rapid transit systems in Mongolia and Bangladesh, and inland waterway transport in China.

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