OREANDA-NEWS. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $2 million grant to help improve road management and safety in Myanmar. 

“The poor condition of Myanmar’s road network makes transport costly and slow, and this hinders economic growth,” said Adrien V?ron-Okamoto, Transport Specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department. “Also, Myanmar’s road safety is in a dire state, with 4,300 road deaths in 2014. If recent trends continue unchecked, fatalities could double in the next 5 years.” 

The grant will help Myanmar’s Ministries of Construction and Rail Transportation to prepare the first phases of national highway rehabilitation and national road safety programs. This will include the preparation of technical designs for pavement repair and upgrades on at least 500 kilometers of highways. The assistance will also be used to advise on road safety policies, as well as to upgrade and institutionalize an ADB-supported road database and pavement management system. 

The grant is provided by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, and will be managed by ADB. Programs will be designed to leverage further financing, including from the government and other development partners, with project implementation to start in 2017. 

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.  In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.