Transportation infrastructure that is fast, cheap and safe is essential for social and economic integration and development. It enables the flow of inputs and goods – facilitating access to markets and promoting competitiveness – and provides people with easier access to jobs and social amenities. The challenges, however, are enormous for many developing countries, especially those that are landlocked or characterized by difficult terrain.
OFID’s support to the transportation sector has remained consistently high over the years, with cumulative approvals amounting to around US$3,023.4m, or 21% of total commitments. These funds have been utilized across all subsectors, from roads, seaports and airports, to railways, inland waterways and urban mass rapid transit.
In the course of 2012, OFID approved US$275m for 13 transportation projects in 12 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The lion’s share of the commitments went to Asia, with 61.2% of approvals, followed by Africa with 22.9% and LAC with 15.9%. All the funds were provided in public sector lending and for the roads subsector.
Several countries will use their loans to help finance the construction/upgrading of key national arteries:
Bangladesh (US$30m), Bolivia (US$20m), Madagascar (US$18m), Sri Lanka (US$40m and US$50m), Suriname (US$13.8m), and Uganda ($15m).
For others, the focus is on rural connectivity and unlocking agricultural potential: Chad US($12m), Grenada (US$10m), Sierra Leone (US$10m), Tajikistan (US$2.8m), and Vietnam (US$34.2m). Congo DR, meanwhile, will apply its US $8m loan to a road paving initiative in the capital Kinshasa.
On completion, the various projects will serve to generate new economic opportunities, promote integration, and facilitate access to social services.