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The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is providing a loan of USD165.5 million to improve road efficiency, safety and climate resilience of cross-border roads in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan, supported by iRAP Star Ratings.

Good road connectivity is an essential growth driver in landlocked Uzbekistan. The country’s road network plays an important role in transporting goods and passengers in Central Asia. However, road infrastructure in Uzbekistan is faced with insufficient investments to meet the need for infrastructure upgrades to sustain growing traffic demand. The Government of Uzbekistan has identified the modernization of road transport as a priority development area and is securing funds to fill the financing gap to support road construction and improvement.

The Bukhara Road Network Improvement Project Phase 1 will support the rehabilitation and maintenance of a 78km section of the international road A380. The project is expected to directly benefit about 247,000 people who reside in the area by enhancing road safety to achieve a higher standard assessed by the iRAP Star Rating, reducing fuel and vehicle maintenance costs and saving travel time. As a key international freight corridor, the road’s expected improved operational efficiency would enhance movement of international freight and facilitate trading activities, resulting in wider benefits for agricultural and industrial sectors in the Bukhara Region.

iRAP Global Programme Manager Judy Williams said, “The project will be the first application of the iRAP Star Rating in Uzbekistan and we look forward to supporting AIIB and local partners to improve road safety in the country.

“Achieving >75 per cent of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users by 2030 stands to save over 1,200 lives per year in Uzbekistan with a potential economic benefit of USD$6.7 billion,” she said.

AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations, Konstantin Limitovski said, “As our first stand-alone transport project in Uzbekistan, the financing will help enhance the country’s transport infrastructure and strengthen key international transport corridors across the Eurasian landmass.”

The financing will also pave the way for the next phase of the project, which covers rehabilitation and maintenance of international road M37 sections in and around the Bukhara region, as well as regional and local road networks in the Republic of Karakalpakstan and Khorezm regions.

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