ADB to Help Improve the Regional Road Network in PRC’s Pu’er, Yunnan
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (10 December 2014) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $200 million to improve villagers’ access to regional roads in Yunnan Province, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in a project that will alleviate poverty and promote regional trade.
“Yunnan is one of the country’s least developed provinces, with an inadequate road network that limits rural people's access to markets, services, and other opportunities,” said David Fay, an ADB Transport Specialist. “This project will develop strategic regional roads servicing national borders and will provide rural roads that will enhance access and benefit about 405,000 people. Benefits will include reduced transport costs and travel times, better access to jobs, services, and investment, and improved agriculture profitability.”
The project will focus on Pu’er, a mountainous prefecture in the south of the province bordering the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Viet Nam where 950,000 inhabitants live below the national poverty line.
Despite its strategic location as a border prefecture in the Greater Mekong subregion, Pu’er received international trade of only $100 million in 2011, less than 1% of Yunnan’s total. This reflects a lack of high-quality border crossings and road connections.
About a third of Pu’er’s roads are unclassified, as a high proportion of them are earthen. Poor roads are limiting the volume of agriculture produce that can be transported, especially during periods when roads are impassable, while also complicating the movement of people, goods, and services. These difficulties are compounded by the area’s mountains and hills, which account for 94% of Yunnan’s land area.
The project will upgrade or construct 234 km of highways on the Ning’er-Jiangcheng-Longfu route, and another 49 km on the Menglian-Meng’a section of the Lancang-Meglian-Meng’a road. This work will be accompanied by road safety measures and development of a transit center.
All-weather access roads to villages and highways will be provided through the upgrading of 600 km of earthen or gravel roads and 1,200 km of village roads. The project will also pilot five new village bus services.
The third component of the project will be to strengthen the Pu’er municipal government’s capacity to implement and monitor the project, including training in financial and project management, road maintenance engineering, road safety, law enforcement, and environmental safeguards.
The total cost of the project is $589 million, of which the national government will provide $389.53 million. The estimated completion date is the end of December 2020.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.