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IDB approves $33 million for surface transportation in Guyana

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $33 million soft loan to Guyana to rehabilitate the road connecting Mahaica and Rosignol and to strengthen the Work Services Group of the Ministry of Public Works and Communications.

The 41 kilometers of road, linking Mahaica to Rosignol, provide the only access to New Amsterdam and the Berbice Region, the most important agricultural area in the country. Directly or indirectly the road serves about 490,000 people, about half the population of Guyana. Its rehabilitation will reduce vehicle operating costs, increase safety, as well as stimulate economic activity.

In addition, the program will finance a road weight control program and establish six permanent weight stations. Feasibility studies will be undertaken for investments to improve southern road access to Georgetown.

Other feasibility studies will evaluate the possible rehabilitation of the road from New Amsterdam to Crabwood-Moleson Creek, on the Corentyne River on the border with Suriname, and associated rural roads.

Resources from the IDB loan will also finance technical assistance, training and computer equipment to strengthen and modernize the Work Services Group, which could become a model for the modernization of other public sector entities. The task of the WSG includes highway planning, design, procurement, implementation, quality control, road maintenance and the monitoring of all investment contracts.

The IDB loan is for a 40-year term, with a 10-year grace period, at an annual interest rate of 1 percent during the grace period and 2 percent thereafter. Local counterpart funds total $7 million.

In previous operations supporting Guyana’s surface transportation system, the IDB in 1992 approved $23 million loan to repave the main segments of the national road network and construct shoulders, and in 1997 an IDB loan of $43 million financed the replacement and reconstruction of existing bridges and culverts along the main road system.

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