The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a loan of $165.5m to Uzbekistan to improve road efficiency, safety and climate resilience of cross-border roads in the Bukhara region.
As a landlocked country, Uzbekistan’s road network plays an important role in transporting goods and people across Central Asia.
The funding from AIIB will be provided under the Bukhara Road Network Improvement Project Phase 1, which will support the rehabilitation and maintenance of 78km section on the international road A380 in the Bukhara region.
The project is expected to be beneficial for about 247,000 people living in the area, by reducing fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, enhanced road safety and saving time on travel.
Considered to be a key international freight corridor, the road’s improvement could lead to operational efficiency in moving the freight, supporting trading activities. Improved trade could result in wider benefits for the agricultural and industrial sectors in the Bukhara Region.
AIIB investment operations vice president Konstantin Limitovskiy said: “This project is of regional importance and well-aligned with AIIB’s strategic priority of promoting cross-border connectivity to unlock greater productivity and higher economic growth.
“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 loan from AIIB will help in paving the way for the next phase of the project, which includes the rehabilitation and maintenance of international road M37 sections in and around the Bukhara region.
It will also include regional/local road networks in the Republic of Karakalpakstan and Khorezm regions.
Furthermore, the project is expected to make the road infrastructure resilient to the negative impact of climate change by improving the topographical and hydrological design, as a response to multiple climate scenarios.