The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to provide $330m in financing to Afghanistan for completing the national ring road.
The funding will be used to construct a 151km road to connect Qaisar and Dari Bum in northwestern Afghanistan.
The new road represents the last section of the 2,200km ring road that connects major cities in Afghanistan and a key corridor under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme.
The Government of Afghanistan has placed utmost importance to the ring road, which has been taken up as part of the road improvement master plan.
The project includes drainage and modern highway safety features, besides roadside infrastructure facilities such as rural access roads and a development programme for 60 local communities.
Disaster risk and climate change adaptation features will be incorporated while designing and constructing the ring road, which is a vital national strategic corridor and critical part of the country’s regional integration agenda.
The ADB will support the transportation, energy and agriculture and natural resources sectors in Afghanistan under the new country partnership strategy that was approved in October 2017.
The ADB has rebuilt or reconstructed more than 800km of roads in Afghanistan since 2002.
The Manila-based international development finance institution has so far provided more than $1.7bn for development of roads, railways and airports in Afghanistan.
ADB director-general for Central and West Asia Department Sean O’Sullivan said: “Afghanistan’s ring road is an essential piece of infrastructure which will help connect the country internally, as well as with its neighbours in Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East.
“ADB’s support for the final stage of the ring road will integrate lessons learned in provisioning infrastructure in a fragile environment, while also creating jobs, improving trade, and bringing greater security.”