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Sierra Leone: US$ 40.65 Million Grant for Lungi-Port Loko Road

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Tunis, 17 June 2009 – The Africa Development Fund’s (ADF) Board of Directors has approved a US$ 40.65 million (UA 26.26) million to finance the upgrading of the strategic Lungi-Port Loko road link in Sierra Leone.

The 65-km road project, which forms part of the country’s economic development and poverty reduction strategy, aims at closing infrastructure gaps and promoting private sector growth.

The project will improve the land route between the airport at Lungi and the capital Freetown, and also enhance the development of regional trade between Port Loko district and the rest of the country as well as with neighbouring Guinea.

It involves the upgrading and paving of the road, the gravelling of 30-km of earth feeder roads and the construction of social infrastructure for local small scale farmers. Other activities include consultancy services for the supervision of the works, consultancy services for evaluation and monitoring of the project impact, and project audit consultancy services.

The Lungi-Port Loko road project fully complies with the strategic orientation of the Bank Group’s 2005-2009 Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Sierra Leone which focuses on “supporting pro-poor growth” with emphasis on good governance and infrastructure. Rehabilitating the selected transport infrastructure will improve access to markets and farms, increase food security and reduce poverty.

Designed to enhance the synergy already created within the donor community investment plans, the project complements the European Union-funded Freetown–Conakry road corridor.

The beneficiaries are estimated at 480,000 or 8.4% of the country’s population, comprising inhabitants of the project area and road users. By connecting the Freetown-Conakry road corridor, the project will foster integration between Sierra Leone and neighbouring countries. In addition, the project is country-driven and linked with two of the four themes of the government’s second draft Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP II), which is closing infrastructure gaps and enabling private sector growth. Furthermore the medium-term Bank Group Strategy (2008-2012) which places strong emphasis on infrastructure, including transport, promotes and supports regional integration and the development of fragile states.

The grant will fund the entire project, comprising UA 5.63 million in local costs and UA 20.63 million in foreign currency costs, based on the 100%-financing model of the Fragile States Facility (FSF). The government will fund the cost of compensation/resettlement of people affected by the project, estimated at UA 0.6 million.

UA 1 = 1.54805 = 1US$ as at 17/06/2009

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