Afghanistan: Emergency transport rehabilitation project supplemental grant - Project information document

Project Name
Emergency Transport Rehabilitation Project - Supplemental Grant
Roads and highways (100%)
Project ID
P078284 (Original Credit), P090390 (Supplemental Credit)
Implementing Agency
Ministry of Public Works
Address: Makroyan One, Kabul, Afghanistan
Contact Person: H.E. Mr. Gul Agha Shirzai, Minister
Tel: 00932-2301363 Fax: 00932-2301362

Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism
Address: Anssari Watt, Kabul, Afghanistan
Contact Person: Eng. Raz. M. Alami, Deputy Minister
Tel: 00 93 (0)70 288662 Email:
Environment Category
[ ] A [X] B [ ] C [ ] FI [ ] TBD (to be determined)
Safeguard Classification
[ ] S1 [X] S2 [ ] S3 [ ] SF [ ] TBD (to be determined)
Date PID Prepared
February 21, 2003 (Original), November 15, 2004 (Update)
Date of Appraisal Authorization
November 17, 2004
Date of Board Approval
March 24, 2005

1. Country and Sector Background

Highways and Roads. The road network comprises of about 6,000 kilometers (km) of national roads of which 3,300 km are primary highways including 2,400 km paved roads. The national primary road network largely consists of the ring road (Herat- Kandahar- Kabul- Mazar-e-Sharif- Shibergan- Maimana- Herat) and six international links to neighboring countries. The remaining network of 2,700 km secondary national roads and 15,000 km provincial roads is either gravel or earthen.

More than two decades of conflict combined with a lack of maintenance has resulted in the deterioration of large part of Afghanistan’s road network. .This has meant that the road network has been rendered only partially usable with high transportation cost. Today, more than 50 percent of the main road network is in poor condition.

The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is currently responsible for operations and maintenance of the road network. The Government has declared its intention to gradually move away from MPW undertaking force account works and rely more on the private sector for the provision of most road and transport infrastructure and services. Therefore, there is an urgent need to create an enabling environment appropriate for private sector operations to facilitate growth of the transport sector..

Civil Aviation. The prolonged state of conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in large-scale deterioration of the civil aviation infrastructure and depletion of the skilled manpower. In addition to lack of maintenance, the deterioration was further accelerated by the heavy damage inflicted on key airport infrastructure during the recent military operations.

The civil airport infrastructure is managed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism (MCAT). In order to comply with international civil aviation standards and recommended practices set by ICAO, a massive rebuilding effort of the airport infrastructure is required.

2. Objectives

The development objective of the proposed Project (or supplemental?)Emergency Transport Rehabilitation Project (ETRP) is to facilitate the country's economic and social recovery through improved physical access to goods, markets, and administrative and social services.

The development objective will be achieved by: (i) removing key transport bottlenecks (collapsed bridges, eroded road sections, disintegrated pavements, damaged tunnels, unsafe air traffic operation) that seriously hamper recovery; (ii) providing equipment and technical assistance related to planning, maintenance and supervision of works, thereby building capacity in management, implementation and subsequent maintenance; and (iii) assisting in the establishment of an institutional and policy framework for the sector for sustainable service delivery in the transport sector.

The removal of key transport bottlenecks will promote regional economic integration and facilitate trade, delivery of humanitarian aid, and reconstruction efforts in all sectors.

3. Rationale for Bank Involvement

The proposed projectETRP focuses on emergency transport infrastructure rehabilitation needs and strengthening the management and implementation of rehabilitation efforts. It responds to the Government's request that the international community responds to assist the urgent recovery needs of the population without compromising medium to long term goals for the sector and for poverty alleviation. The proposed projectETRP takes into account and supports other proposed IDA supported projects for Afghanistan and is well coordinated with interventions from other multilateral and bilateral donors.

4. Description

The ongoing project consists of four major parts: (A) Highways; (B) Civil Aviation; (C) Secondary and Tertiary Roads; and (D) Institutional, Policy and Other Studies. The supplemental credit will mainly support Part C.

Part A: Highways. The proposed ProjectETRP includes the rehabilitation of the existing road along its current alignment. It will also finance related equipment and training.

Part B: Civil Aviation. This component will finance rehabilitation of Kabul International Airport and provide communications and other equipment identified as necessary for the Kabul Airport to function to international standard.

Part C: Secondary Roads. This component will finance the rehabilitation of selected secondary roads (Taloqan – Kishem Road) serving rural populations in the area of influence of the main road corridor being rehabilitated under the Project.

Part D: Institutional, Policy and Other Studies. This component will lay the foundation for sustainable management of the transport sector. It will include a Transport Sector Review (TSR) to develop Institutional and Policy Framework for the Sector, and pre-feasibility studies for potential future investments.

5. Financing


6. Implementation

TheETRP is expected to be implemented over 36 months by the MPW and MCAT. Effective implementation will be assured through the appointment of a Procurement Agent, a Financial Management Agent, and an independent Audit Agent (long term consultancies) to assist the Government in coordinating donor efforts and creating lasting improvements in infrastructure on a fast track basis. This will facilitate a transparent procurement process and financial management. The proposed ? ProjectETRP will provide support for the MPW and MCAT in undertaking implementation by financing international consultants to be in charge of design and construction supervision of the primary and secondary road contracts, the runway works, the Salang Tunnel works, and the financing of equipment and materials.

Monitoring and Evaluation. Given the emergency nature of the proposed ProjectETRP, the output, outcome and sector indicators have been crafted to focus on the time bound objectives of facilitating transport and access in the shortest possible time. The IDA supervision will focus on assessing these indicators and assisting the Government in overcoming implementation difficulties in a timely manner.

7. Sustainability

The two most critical factors affecting sustainability are: (i) the ability to mobilize stable and dependable funding for maintenance and operation; and (ii) the necessity to build lasting technical and managerial capacity and institutions to manage and maintain the transport network. Both funding and managerial capacity depend on the following key factors:

(a) Civil service reform for adoption of a transport sector strategy. Key in this respect will be the acceptance of sustainable arrangements for future maintenance of the key road corridors with exceptionally high annual operating and maintenance costs.

(b) Capacity and incentive of the human resources in civil service. The civil service suffers from low pay and a low skill base, a legacy of the past 20-25 years. Reforms of this sector are unavoidable, enhancing government effectiveness and sector restructuring are key objectives of the Transport Support Strategy of the government.

8. Lessons Learned from Past Operations in the Country/Sector

The main lessons learned from other emergency reconstruction projects include the following:

- Reduce complexity in emergency operations which need to address critical requirements: avoid multiple objectives; avoid major innovations and set up simple implementation arrangements.

- IDA should be prepared to support the Borrower through proactive and staff-intensive involvement upfront during project preparation (and subsequently during first stages of project implementation). Engagement by the Borrower of adequate technical assistance in project implementation should be ensured through financing under the IDA credit, or under timely grant financing from donors.

- IDA versus recipient executed rules for trust funds. Many post-conflict countries have very little government capacity for project management, procurement, and financial management Thus, IDA trust fund execution rules should initially be followed..

- "Good practice" in post-conflict operations indicates short project preparation timetables, whilst investing more BB resources and effort into implementation/supervision. This will allow possible re-orientation and upscaling of project components and mobilization of co-financing as the situation evolves. However, IDA procedures for processing such amendments might be too time consuming or/and provide obstacles.

- IDA needs to respond quickly in project preparation to avoid changes and holdup of the delivery of IDA assistance.

- Timeliness and flexibility are of key importance during project implementation in ensuring the effectiveness of IDA assistance. Changing circumstances call for quick adjustments within and between components and possibly also flexibility in implementation arrangements.

- The issue of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) needs to be carefully addressed in tendering and award of civil works contracts.

9. Safeguard Policies (including public consultation)

Safeguard Policies Triggered by the Project
Environmental Assessment (OP/BP/GP 4.01)
[ ]
Natural Habitats (OP/BP 4.04)
[ ]
Pest Management (OP 4.09)
[ ]
Cultural Property (OPN 11.03, being revised as OP 4.11)
[ ]
Involuntary Resettlement (OP/BP 4.12)
[ ]
Indigenous Peoples (OD 4.20, being revised as OP 4.10)
[ ]
Forests (OP/BP 4.36)
[ ]
Safety of Dams (OP/BP 4.37)
[ ]
Projects in Disputed Areas (OP/BP/GP 7.60)** By supporting the proposed project, the Bank does not intend to prejudice the final determination of the parties' claims on the disputed areas
[ ]
Projects on International Waterways (OP/BP/GP 7.50)
[ ]

10. Contact point

Task Manager
Mitsuyoshi Asada -
The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20433
Telephone: 202-473-5301
Fax: 202-522-2427

11. For more information contact:

The InfoShop
The World Bank
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20433
Telephone: (202) 458-5454
Fax: (202) 522-1500