Thursday, June 9, 2011

Papua New Guinea Road Freight Gets Lift From Funding Boost

World Bank Money to Refurbish Infrastructure
Shipping News Feature

PAPUA NEW GUINEA (PNG) - The World Bank has approved a US$43 million credit for the Papua New Guinea Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Project II (RMRP II), which looks to provide a boost for road haulage operators in the country.

Building on the success of an earlier project, which is set to close in December 2011, the RMRP II is a five-year initiative that is designed to support the rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of high priority national roads and bridges in the country.

The project, which will be implemented by Papua New Guinea’s Department of Works and will run from the latter half of this year until 2016, will rehabilitate 150 kms of roads and bridges in several provinces, beginning with upgrading segments of the Hiritano Highway to pavement. This will complete the full paving of the highway across both the Central and Gulf provinces.

Lack of reliable roads in the country has severely affected PNG’s connectivity and economic growth, particularly in regards to impeding trade through making road freight - for much of the country the only viable transport - extremely arduous.

However, continuous investment in the nation’s roads since 2002 has seen great improvements made. To date $77.3 million has been spent, and the funding for RMRP II should benefit thousands of people.

“Over the past decade we have seen how good roads can change people’s lives in Papua New Guinea: children can get to school on public transport; ambulances can take people to hospitals and businesspeople can send their goods to markets,” said Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea.

“Through this project we will continue to work with the Government of Papua New Guinea to rehabilitate roads and transform people’s lives by connecting them to the  things they need most,” he added.

For more information on the impact the new roads are expected to have on the wider community see HERE.

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:22904443~menuPK:64256345~pagePK:34370~pi