The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has granted $65 million for Haiti to improve the efficiency and safety of its road transport systems. This is just one more chunk of funds the bank has granted to help rebuild the French-speaking Caribbean country yet to recover from the 2010 devastating earthquake.
The five-year program, which will be carried out by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications (MTPTC), will increase competiveness, connectivity and accessibility by reducing transportation costs, improving safe transport services and enhancing the country’s regional and international integration, said the bank in a statement.
Specifically, the program will rehabilitate a 29.5 km stretch of the RN1 highway between Camp Coq and Vaudreuli. The grant also includes resources necessary for the rehabilitation, improvement and or maintenance of Haiti’s primary and secondary road networks.
Reports say Haiti has a road network of 3,572 kilometers, of which just 15 percent is in good condition. “Road safety is complicated not only by the poor conditions of roadways and vehicles, but also by the lack of signage and enforcement of transit regulations,” says the bank.
Haiti is heavily dependent on road transport system for transportation of cargo and passengers. The program, analysts say, will benefit both the private and public sectors by providing better transport and maritime port infrastructure, lower costs and decreased travel time.
This is just one of the many grants IDB has lent for improving infrastructure fundamental for economic development. Earlier in May, the bank approved a $27 million grant to help modernize and improve the management of Haiti’s roads and ports.
In June, the bank opened a new country office. It is one of the IDB’s largest country offices, with 85 full-time personnel. Soon after the earthquake, the IDB announced that it would write off Haiti’s $484 million in debt and provide all future aid in the form of non-reimbursable grants, at the rate of US$200 million a year from 2010 through 2020.