IDB approves $55M for Haiti highway, road projects

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $55M grant to Haiti to help upgrade key highways and pave streets.

“The investments will improve transportation among urban areas and with the neighbouring Dominican Republic, as well as generate temporary jobs in several cities,” the IDB said in a press release.

The projects will be executed by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport, Energy and Communication (MTPTEC) and are part of a broader programme agreed with the Government of Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, to repair and improve its transportation infrastructure, including the road network, ports and airports. The IDB will finance the rehabilitation of a 33km (20 mile) stretch of RN8, which links Haitian capital city Port-au-Prince with the Dominican Republic and is the most heavily used road to transport cargo between the two countries. Also, the European Union is set to fund a 10km (6 mile) section of the same highway.

The project to pave 15.5km (10 miles) of city streets will be carried out by UNOPS, which has done many similar projects in Haiti and employs unskilled labour. “The goal is to provide temporary jobs to at least 2,500 people in cities in the departments of l’Ouest, Artibonite, Grand’Anse, Sud and Sud-Est,” the IDB said.

The new operation will also provide resources to complete the paving and civil works on RN7, which links the southern cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie. The IDB and Canada financed an earlier project to upgrade this 90-km (56 mile) highway, cutting travel times almost by half. In addition, IDB resources will cover two years maintenance of recently upgraded highways, the design of a national road safety strategy and institutional strengthening of the MTPTEC, the release said.

According to the IDB, it is Haiti’s leading multilateral donor. Since the earthquake it has approved $422 million in new grants and disbursed more than $330 million for projects in transport, energy, water and sanitation, agriculture, education and private sector development.

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