The World Bank announced on Sunday that it will provide concessional loans worth more than 52 billion rupees ($411 million) to Nepal to help unlock the Himalayan nation’s economic potential through improved connectivity and improve its access to regional markets.
The Government of Nepal and the World Bank have signed concessional financing agreements for Rs 34.96 billion (USD 277 million) for the Accelerating Nepal’s Regional Transport and Trade Connectivity (ACCESS) project and Rs 17.79 billion (USD 140 million) for the Digital Nepal Acceleration (DNA) project, according to a statement issued by the World Bank in Nepal.
The agreements were signed by Finance Secretary Krishna Hari Pushkar on behalf of the Nepalese government and Faris Hadad-Zervous, World Bank Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, in the presence of Finance Minister Janardan Sharma and World Bank Vice President for South Asia Martin Raiser, he said.
“The projects will help unlock Nepal’s economic potential through better connectivity and trade, increased digital engagement between people and businesses, and access to regional markets to support socio-economic development in an inclusive manner. “, said Pushkar.
Under the ACCESS project, the 69-kilometre two-lane section of the Butwal-Gorusinghe-Chandrauta road along the East-West Highway will be upgraded to a climate-resilient four-lane highway.
“With a focus on improved road safety, the project is expected to reduce travel time by 30%, thereby providing better access to India’s western seaports,” the statement said.
The project will construct at least three market areas with necessary internet and business information facilities along the highway to help improve economic opportunities, especially for women entrepreneurs and traders.
The DNA project supports the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework, the country’s digital economy strategy announced by the government in 2019.
The project will mobilize private capital to increase access to broadband services in rural areas, benefiting people and businesses that are currently unconnected to high-quality and affordable Internet connectivity.
It will also support and secure digital government service delivery by improving Nepal’s public data infrastructure and cybersecurity capabilities, increasing access to digital services for women, ethnic and social minorities and persons with disabilities.
“The World Bank is committed to supporting regional integration and digital transformation in Nepal to ensure the country’s trade growth, long-term sustainability and resilience of investments, and enable an innovative digital economy,” Hadad said. -Zervos.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)