Sunday, 17 March 2013

EU donates €40m for feeder roads

The European Union (EU) has donated €40 million to Rwanda to improve feeder roads as a contribution to the country’s food security.

The improvement of the roads is aimed at making it easier for food producers to reach their markets thus improving food accessibility by improving the road network.

A 700 kilometer network of rural secondary roads that link major roads will also be rehabilitated and maintained through the EU support.

 Ambassador Michel Arrion, the Head of the EU Delegation, said it was essential for farmers to be able to take their products to local markets.

“The new program is an important contribution in helping Rwanda fight poverty and hunger. The country has made considerable progress, but a lot remains to be done. The EU is fully committed to support Rwanda in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and increasing food security,” Ambassador Arrion said.

The new €40 million program will also provide technical support to prepare, among other things, standards for rehabilitation and maintenance of feeder roads and a manual of procedures for local authorities.

The EU project will also provide training to districts, ministry staff and private sector companies on road rehabilitation and general procurement.

 The implementation will be a mix of sector budget support (€36million) and technical assistance (€4million).

By April last year, district roads network were still posing a challenge with only 15 percent of roads in good condition out of 31 percent projected in the EDPRS-1, according to a sector performance report.

Development partners who had contributed to the development of 2,850kms of feeder roads across the country included the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that pledged $40 million to rehabilitate 1,000kms of roads in eight districts, and the Netherlands which will provide €10million to restore 550kms in five districts.

Other development partners are the World Bank, which promised a total of $45million to rehabilitate between 400-600kms in four districts.


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