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Regions & Countries

Regions and countries are the ground on which any transport strategy must be implemented, and to have a chance of success that strategy must respond to the day-to-day transport problems of developing countries and their demands for assistance. Although countries in the Bank’s six regions differ in many ways—both within and across regions—their priorities for transport consistently show some common challenges, albeit in different guises. Examples include the need for better management of road infrastructure, the importance of improved transport and logistics to strengthen trade competitiveness, the challenge of urban road congestion and other urban transport problems, the widespread incidence of premature death and injury through road accidents, the need of isolated rural communities for basic connectivity to transport systems, and the pervasive implications of climate change on transport operations and infrastructure. These priorities all point to a strategy that will make transport cleaner, safer, and more affordable.

In addressing the following regional priorities, the Bank recognizes the need for support from regional and global partnerships with aid organizations, governments, private sector organizations, and community representatives:

Sub-Saharan Africa. A key focus will be the two-thirds of all rural people who lack reliable access to an all-weather road and the even larger number of urban people who now live in slums in worsening environmental conditions. For both groups, transport and logistics costs are excessive. More on transport activities in the Sub-Saharan Africa Region... 
East Asia and Pacific. Transport has performed well in many countries in facilitating impressive trade-driven economic growth and poverty reduction. The priority now is to enhance the capacity and quality of transport infrastructure and services to sustain that growth and to share its benefits more broadly in the region and with people in remoter areas, while addressing carbon emissions and climate change impact. More on transport activities in the East Asia and Pacific Region... 
ECAEastern Europe and Central Asia. Market forces now increasingly shape all facets of transport demand, but following an investment hiatus during the transition process, nearly all countries in the region face maintenance backlogs and quality deficiencies in their transport infrastructure. Infrastructure modernization and enterprise reform remain key goals. More on transport activities in the Europe and Central Asia Region... 
Latin America and the Caribbean. To mitigate a massive reduction in public and private investment in transport since the 1980s, which resulted in excessive transportation and logistics costs that penalize trade, the priority is to increase the sources, quality, and productivity of investment, factoring in the climate change agenda.

Middle East and North Africa. The priority is for strategic infrastructure improvements and capacity building in transport to attract private sector participation, in particular in urban transport, and provide better access to job opportunities that can reduce the region’s high unemployment.

South Asia. Investment climate surveys have pinpointed transport as a constraint on regional and international trade. Furthermore, many rural households lack access to all-season roads and have not shared in the region’s trade-led growth, and many megacities are hampered by the lack of reliable urban transport systems. Both challenges are high priorities, and the latter is also part of the broader emissions/climate change challenge. More on transport activities in the South Asia Region... 

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