300,000 Swat residents to benefit from $8 million grant

ISLAMABAD: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) has approved a grant of US$ 8 million that will reconstruct a 10.5 kilometers stretch of roads from Kanju to Sharif Abad in the Swat district.The Emergency Roads Recovery Project (ERRP) will rehabilitate prioritized damaged roads and bridges and enable them to become fully operational in all-weather conditions and help improve access and mobility for about 300,000 local residents. Once completed, the improved road will allow for smooth traffic flow leading to reduced vehicle operating costs and travel time for beneficiaries.

“The militancy crisis of 2009 badly damaged transport networks and disrupted economic growth for the region”, said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “Through MDTF support, not only will this 10.5 kilometers stretch of road become an all-weather passageway, but it will also help improve access of residents to markets to sell their produce, enhance local trade and increase economic activity in the project area.”

The ERRP will be implemented by the Frontier Highway Authority (FHA) and consists of two components. The first, larger component relates to the reconstruction and widening of about 10.5 kilometers of highway, including related structures, from Sharif Abad to Kanju. The second, smaller component deals with project supervision and environmental and social safeguards oversight.

“The ERRP is a great example of the MDTF responsiveness to its clients’ needs. It is employing rapid response measures to expedite the preparation of the project and it has aligned its activities with the Government of KP, the Post-Crisis Needs Assessment and other donor interventions”, said Zafar Iqbal Raja, the project team leader from the World Bank. “By partnering with the FHA, we are confident of the outcomes and look forward to helping the people of KP recover from the militancy crisis.” – Onlinenews