The Board of Directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a US$455-million loan to Andhra Pradesh for constructing all weather road network in the rural areas. It will connect two million people in the rural areas of the state with markets, schools and other services. This project brings AIIB’s total commitments in India to US$1.769 billion, AIIB said in a statement Friday.
The project aims to construct and upgrade more than 6,000 km of all-weather roads connecting around 3,300 rural habitations in the state. In addition to improving transport links to facilitate the delivery of agricultural and farm goods to markets, all-weather connectivity is also expected to result in better health and education outcomes. School attendance rates, especially among girls, are expected to improve.
"By integrating the rural population with the rest of the state and markets, the project will extend economic development to the state as a whole," said AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian. “This is AIIB’s third investment to improve rural roads in India because they align well with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Government of India’s priorities."
"Our investment will help build the institutional capacity of the implementing agency in Andhra Pradesh by tailoring specific training programmes and workshops to learn best international practices in rural road operations and maintenance," said AIIB Director General of Investment Operations Supee Teravaninthorn. "Meanwhile, the project will further strengthen AIIB’s capacity to finance similar sustainable road infrastructure projects, which are in high demand in other areas of India and in the region."
AIIB is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. Headquartered in Beijing, it began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 87 approved members worldwide.