CDB, EU, partner to improve rural roads in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has entered into a delegation agreement with the European Union (EU), to administer a Road Management and Rural Road Improvement Programme in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The programme will be financed through an EU contribution of EUR5.8 million (mn), and aims to improve climate change resilience in rural road networks, as well as stimulate economic activity in rural communities.
“Developed road infrastructure is a key component in economic growth and sustainable development. This project is expected to strengthen institutional capacity, and provide the tools needed to plan for the effects of climate change on the road network in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In addition, a better rural road network has the potential to stimulate growth in agriculture as well as employment in rural communities,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards and its road network has already experienced some of the effects of climate change. Under the project, approximately six kilometres of rural, unpaved roads will be upgraded with enhanced climate-resilience features included. This is expected to improve access for farmers to transport their produce to market, and reduce costs associated with spoilage or loss of cargo.
In addition, improvements in institutional capacity at the Ministry of Transport and Works supported under the Project are designed to lead to better road sector management and enhanced early-warning response in the event of a natural disaster or climate event. The Project will also provide for the development and operation of a road maintenance management system.
CDB has previously provided funding to improve road infrastructure in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Bank is currently financing the rehabilitation of the South Leeward Highway project from Kingstown to Layou. Previous projects also include the Windward and Vigie Highways.