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Georgia and the World Bank Signed Agreement on Additional Financing for the Third East-West Highway Improvement Project

Published: June 28, 2012 | 10:51 am
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The Government of Georgia and the World Bank on June 28 signed the Additional Financing Agreement for US$ 43 million International Development Association (IDA) loan to Georgia for the Third East-West Highway Project (TEWHIP) for Georgia. This was the third in a series of investments aimed at improving the E60 Highway, Georgia’s key transport corridor. The agreement was signed by Dimitri Gvindadze, the Minister of Finance of Georgia and Elene Imnadze, Acting World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. The Additional Financing was approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors in September 2009.

The project upgrades the E60 highway between Sveneti and Ruisi to a four lane divided highway. It will also assist the government in implementing reforms in the transport sector, including strengthening of the Roads Department, improving private sector participation in road maintenance and operations, road safety, and engineering education. As a result of the three year project, road transport costs will be reduced, and access, ease of transit, and road safety along the central part of Georgia’s East-West corridor improved. The capacity of the Roads Department and relevant Government entities to plan and manage the road network and to improve traffic safety will also be strengthened.

“The Government’s strategic plan of development recognizes road infrastructure investments as one of the major ways to promote country’s economic growth and create new employment in the immediate future,” said Elene Imnadze.” In response to the government’s request the Bank is financing a series of East-West Highway Improvement projects. This program is a key element of the World Bank’s on-going Country Partnership Strategy for Georgia.”

“The East-West Highway Improvement Project — one of the key infrastructure projects of the country — is being built with the support of the World Bank and other international financial institutions. We have signed today an important agreement, according to which the World Bank allocates additional SDR 27.7 million (approx US$ 43 million) for this project, said Dimitri Gvindadze. ‘This is a concessional loan, with the maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of 5 years and a low interest rate. In general terms, this project stems from Georgia’s strategic plan of development, which is set to improve the connectivity between various regions of the country, and strengthen its transit and logistical positions.”

The E60 highway carries over 60 percent of the foreign trade that uses Georgia’s roads. The government’s program to upgrade the E60 will help cement Georgia’s position as a key transport corridor. The government’s support for addressing road safety issues on the E60 as an integral part of upgrades to the corridor is particularly encouraging.

The Third East West Highway Program significantly scales up Bank support to Georgia in the roads sector.  It builds upon the US$ 47 million First East-West Highway Improvement Project, totaling US$ 292 for the overall East-West Highway Improvement Program.

Since 1992, World Bank commitments to Georgia total approximately US$ 1.62 billion for 52 projects.







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