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Sierra Leone: World Bank Supports Infrastructure Development

FREETOWN, December 6 2005 — The World Bank Board of Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of US$44 million for the Infrastructure Development Project in Sierra Leone, which will rehabilitate selected priority roads, port and airport facilities and support regulatory and institutional reforms associated with the enhanced management of the country’s road, port, and airport sectors.  

Infrastructure investments are key to the country’s efforts to reduce poverty, achieve economic growth and reach the Millennium Development Goals.  The project approved today has four different components:

· The Road Infrastructure and Management component entails the rehabilitation of two segments of the primary road network (namely: the Bo-Kenema and Makeni-Matotoka paved roads), as well as approximately 400 km of rural/feeder road infrastructure rehabilitation to the “access-poor” districts of Kailahun, Kono, Koinadugu among others in conjunction with support in establishing an Independent Road Maintenance Fund and Board and the associated restructuring of the management of the road sector.

· The Freetown Port Infrastructure and Management component will finance the expansion of the paved container stacking area, together with the supply of specialized equipment to meet internationally recognized, environmental and safety standards, while also supporting the restructuring of the Ports Authority.

· The Freetown International Airport Infrastructure and Management component includes the rehabilitation and strengthening of the runway; upgrading of the turning loops and taxiway entrances (to safely accommodate modern aircraft); the installation and upgrading of independent water and electricity supplies for security, sanitation, fire fighting and mains back-up; while also supporting the Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA) for increased efficiency and effectiveness.

·  A Project Coordination, Studies and Capacity Building component will focus on the coordination and monitoring of the three sector-based components, through the previously established Coordination and Monitoring Unit (CMU) of the Office of the Vice President. The CMU will include financial management capacity and environmental and social safeguard expertise, in addition to quality assurance and procurement technical assistance and capacity building.

The approval of the Infrastructure Development Project is in line with the World Bank Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Sierra Leone which in turn is fully aligned to the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).

For more information on the World Bank’s work in sub-Saharan Africa visit: http://www.worldbank.org/afr

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