Yesterday, the Board of Directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved a loan of US$329 million to build access roads to approximately 4,000 villages in all 33 districts of Gujarat, India. Insufficient road connectivity into these villages limits their ability to access healthcare services, bring their goods to market and access transportation for their children to attend school. This project will construct and upgrade district and farm-to-market roads for the villagers and provide approaches to educational institutions, schools and hospitals. The upgraded road access is expected to have a positive impact on women and girls by improving school attendance rates for girls who currently drop out of school due to a lack of access to all weather roads.
The project will also better integrate rural populations, tribal villages, business and industries with the national and state economy through better transport connectivity. This will contribute to improved agricultural productivity, higher non-farm employment opportunities and increased rural income. "This project will directly contribute to the economic development of the State of Gujarat, and India, by improving the mobility of the rural population,” said D.J. Pandian, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, AIIB. “By integrating isolated and poor rural populations with the rest of the state, and improving their access to critical social services, such as education and healthcare, we can have a positive impact on the economic and social outcomes of these local communities."
This is a stand-alone financed project by AIIB and is a part of phase one of the multiphase Government of Gujarat’s "Chief Minister’s Rural Roads Program" that complements the Government of India’s "Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Program". Additional project details can be found here.
To monitor the project’s progress, the Bank is piloting a unique software tool specifically developed for this rural roads project. If successful, this project monitoring tool could also be used in future Bank funded projects.
More information on upcoming AIIB projects may be found at www.aiib.org.
AIIB is a multilateral development bank founded to bring countries together to address the daunting infrastructure needs across Asia. Headquartered in Beijing, AIIB commenced its operation in January 2016 and has now grown to 80 approved members from around the world. Its mission is to improve economic and social development in Asia by investing in high quality, financially viable and environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.