Afghanistan

ADB assisting in completion of key road in Afghanistan

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES - ADB and Canada are supporting the completion of the 103.4-km Kandahar-Spin Boldak Road with a $12.8 million grant.

The road starts at Kandahar, Afghanistan's second largest city, which is located in the southeastern part of the country, and continues to the southeast, through the Hada Hills, and ends at the Afghan-Pakistan border town of Spin-Boldak.

Rehabilitation of the road began in October 2002 with grant to Afghanistan for $30 million from ADB's Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. The funding covered reconstruction and improvement works on 61.4 kilometers of the road.

The new grant will be used to rehabilitate the remaining 42 kilometers of the road and boost employment, trade and commerce in southeast Afghanistan.

"The road's full potential cannot be realized until its entire length has been improved," said Robert Rinker, Senior Portfolio Management Specialist with ADB's office in Afghanistan.

The road work has provided employment to residents and returning refugees and expanded opportunities for trade and commerce. Average daily traffic increased from around 2,500 vehicles in 2003 to over 3,800 in 2005 and is expected to continue to increase.

The project will be undertaken by Hamkar Construction Co-Afghanistan, which won the contract through a public bidding by Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Works.

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