In Washington: John Donaldson +1 (202) 473 1367
In Madagascar: Jocelyn Rafidinarivo (261-20) 225 6000
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2007 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit* of US$15.6 million to scale-up the Transport Infrastructure Investment Project (TIIP) of the Government of Madagascar which supports the rehabilitation of the country’s major transport infrastructures in order to fight poverty by reducing transport costs and by facilitating trade.
The Transport Infrastructure Investment Project is the third phase of the three-phase Adaptable Program Loan (APL) which the World Bank financed with three projects in June 2000, in November 2002 and in December 2003 with respectively US$65 million, US$80 million and US$150 million. The APL was designed and is being implemented jointly with other donors, users and private sector.
On December 2006, the Government of Madagascar requested an additional IDA credit to help scale-up the activities on the critical complementary infrastructure rehabilitation along the Northern Railway line (tracks, sleepers and bridges, with social and environmental safeguards).
“Since the project restructuring in January 2006, there has been good progress in implementing the action plans agreed between the Government and the Bank, says Noroarisoa Rabefaniraka, Task Team Leader for the Bank. Rabefaniraka added: “The project is on track to meet its objective of rehabilitating the country’s major transport infrastructure in order to reduce transport costs and to facilitate trade. The implementation progress has been satisfactory so far.”
The new investments on railways are required in order to allow the railway operator to handle the growing traffic in the best conditions in terms of safety, regularity and reliability of rail transport. Besides, it will lead to substantial transport costs and fuel savings, and will reduce external costs related to road-based transport and road maintenance costs.
“The Transport Infrastructure Investment Project has been successful in delivering results on the ground in line with the Challenge 2 of the Madagascar Action Plan (MAP)” said Robert Blake, Country Manager for Madagascar who added: By facilitating transport between the capital and the main port, the railway component will contribute to further opening -up the rural areas to spur and sustain the development of agricultural activities and to provide specific employment along the Northern line, aiding in the reduction of poverty.”
The sustainability of investments in the railways is based on the institutional reforms financed through the railway concessioning agreement and its subsequent amendments which set up clear responsibilities for both the Government and the Concessionaire with a clear investment program, implemented in coordination with two key donors, i.e. the European Investment Bank and the World Bank.