World Bank Boosts Moldova with Improved Roads, Borders

CHISINAU, April 29, 2024 - The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved today a $105.98 million financing package to the Republic of Moldova for the Moldova Rural Connectivity Project (MRCP), which will support the country to improve climate-resilient road connectivity in rural communities, enhance road transit through border crossings with Romania and respond promptly and more effectively to crises and emergencies.

MRCP will finance the rehabilitation and upgrading of approximately 95 km of three priority local roads with climate-resilient design to improve reliable, all-weather connectivity to markets, schools, health, and other social and economic centers. The works include road safety measures in the proximity of schools and settlement areas. Works will also include non-motorized transport infrastructure along and adjacent to roads. Construction works will be complemented with road safety educational and informational campaigns with the aim to raise awareness and educate the public about road safety measures and practices.

Another component of the project is to improve the functionality of the Border Crossing Points (BCPs) between Moldova and Romania. A new road BCP will be constructed at Ungheni with modern customs processing, weighting and scanning facilities. Modernization of Giurgiulesti and Leuseni BCPs is also part of the project.

"Local roads are essential for rural Moldova, as farmers need roads to market their products, children, and teachers to travel to school, and the elderly to visit healthcare centers," said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. "Improving roads leads to lower transport costs and greater accessibility, including in areas adjacent to border crossing points, which opens doors to more international trade."

MRCP is expected to directly benefit around 42,000 people, 133 businesses, 27 health facilities, and 84 schools located along rural road corridors selected for rehabilitation. The project is also expected to facilitate between 350,000 and 400,000 heavy goods shipments per year. Benefits will primarily accrue to shippers in Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania whose goods are transiting into, out of, or through Moldova's road border crossing points. Economic benefits will include reduction in truck and car wait time, increased trade, and a reduction in GHG emissions.

Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, over $2.1 billion has been allocated to more than 70 operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 13 active projects with a total commitment of US$742.9 million. Areas of support include regulatory reform and business development, modernization of government services, tax administration, land registration, education, roads, health, and social sectors, including the COVID-19 emergency response, agriculture, water and sanitation, and energy.

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