- Moroccan government has secured a loan of €45 million from the African Development Bank to improve its rural road network.
Since 1970, the bank has been dealing with Morocco and disbursed €4 billion.
The latest operation, which is dubbed the second National Rural Roads Programme (NRRP2), its objective is to provide access to the rural population and improve rural transport services, with the ultimate goal of reducing poverty in rural areas and bridging regional income disparities.
\"Rural roads covered by the Bank-financed programme fall under the first phase of the NRRP2, which involves transforming about 65% of rural roads into paved roads and 35% into earth roads,\" the bank said in a statement.
\"The Bank’s intervention will entail the construction of 460km of six-metre wide paved roads of sub-grade including one-metre wide shoulders on each side with a four-metre wide double-layer surfacing of the central strip; 226 km of earth roads of the same width but with intensive compaction of the final layer of the sub-grade; and, construction of drainage structures and signposting.\"
In addition, box drains, culverts and gutters will be constructed in the regions with irregular rainfall.
Among others, the project will improve rural accessibility to hospitals, schools, reduce air as well as stimulate economic development.
The project covers all 23 provinces of the Kingdom, specifically agricultural regions which are generally landlocked areas.
\"Despite the constraints of remoteness and the vulnerability of the agricultural sector to the vagaries of the weather, annual agricultural production from the project area substantially impacts on GDP growth and household incomes owing to the size of the active population which derives its livelihood from the sector and the consumption patterns of the population which tends to favour local products,\" the bank officials said.
The programme area that accounts 14% of the GDP through agricultural activities is key in Moroccan economy. Agricultural sector employs over 44% of the total national work force.
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