MANILA, PHILIPPINES (11 December 2003) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a US$5 million emergency loan for the Kyrgyz Republic to rehabilitate public infrastructure badly damaged by floods and landslides earlier this year.
The project will repair roads, bridges, and power lines - and rebuild four schools in locations less prone to natural disasters - to restore economic and social activity as soon as possible in the provinces of Chui, Issyk-Kul, Jalal-Abad, and Osh. It will also build municipal infrastructure for two permanent resettlement centers being established by the Government for disaster-affected people in Osh.
"There is an urgent need to help the Government cope with natural disasters, especially given its constrained financial situation," says Hong Wang, an ADB Principal Project Economist.
Kyrgyz Republic, a small, mountainous and vulnerable to natural disasters, suffered unusually high amounts of rainfall in the spring and summer of 2003.
The rainfall in Jalal-Abad and Osh from March to June 2003 was 50% more than average. The resulting landslides and floods were the worst seen since 1994.
About 1,000 landslides occurred during the first eight months of this year, compared to the 15 to 20 landslides during the same period in a normal year.
Forty-three people were killed, 1,088 families lost their homes, 6,000 hectares of agricultural land were damaged, and more than 300,000 people were affected. Total damage is estimated at US$13.5 million.
The project will help more than 128,000 people in 78 villages, most of whom live below the poverty line.
The Government will contribute US$1.3 million equivalent to meet the total project cost of US$6.3 million equivalent.
The ADB loan, covering 80% of the project cost, will come from its concessional Asian Development Fund. It carries a 32-year term, including a grace period of eight years, with an interest charge of 1% per annum during the grace period and 1.5% per annum thereafter.
The Ministry of Ecology and Emergency Situations is the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion in March 2007.
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