ADB to provide financial assistance for two projects
Kathmandu, November 20
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to provide assistance for two projects, namely, the Disaster Resilience of Schools Project and the SASEC Highway Improvement Project.
An agreement to this effect was signed by Finance Secretary Rajan Khanal and Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, country director, Nepal Resident Mission, ADB, in a programme organised at the Finance Ministry today.
The first project for Disaster Resilience of Schools was approved by the ADB’s Board of Directors for a total amount of $198.86 million on September 10 and aims to improve schools’ resilience to disasters in three provinces of Nepal. The project will help fill funding gap to rehabilitate 174 heavily damaged schools that would improve quality of and access to school education, as well as school management. The newly constructed schools will not only be earthquake resilient but also provide a safe learning environment for children with improved facilities and systems.
Under this project, school buildings will be reconstructed to earthquake-resilient standards and equipped with science laboratories, information and communications technology rooms, libraries, water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities that are segregated. Off-grid and on-grid solar power systems will be installed in 130 of the targeted schools. The project will strengthen education management information systems by enhancing school building inventory, which will support in identifying vulnerable schools and prioritise disaster preparedness.
The second project for South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Highway Improvement was approved by the Board of Directors of ADB for a total project amount of $264 million on October 3. ADB will provide a concessional loan of $180 million to fund the project implementation. ADB also approved a technical assistance grant of $750,000 that is attached to this project on the same day to strengthen road safety, gender equality, and social inclusion in the transport sector.
The project will improve the capacity, quality, and safety of the East-West Highway (EWH). It will improve, widen, and rehabilitate 87 kilometres between Kanchanpur and Kamala and will upgrade this section to a four-lane dual carriageway with new road surface and drainages. Road safety will be significantly improved, as a centre median will reduce head-on collisions, while service lanes in populated areas will reduce accidents, particularly for pedestrians, motorcycles and cyclists. The project will also provide targeted road safety improvements on the 1,027 km EWH and strengthen capacity of government in managing and improving road safety, gender equality and social inclusion to road users.
The project will support the government in promoting economic growth. It is expected to improve the competitiveness of Nepal’s industries by enhancing the efficiency of the transport system and strengthening national and regional connectivity.