European bank bankrolls Albania's road building

08:58, March 05, 2010      

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed an agreement with Albania on Thursday to provide 50 million euros (68 million U.S. dollars) to help build roads in the country's rural areas.

The loan will be used to finance the rehabilitation of about 500 kilometers of country roads, Ridvan Bode, Albania's Minister of Finance, said after having signed the documents with the EBRD's transport director Sue Barrett.

"Such investment is part of a broad national program of modernization and improvement of 1,500 kilometers of regional and local roads, and it will bring the communities living in rural areas closer to markets and services," Bode said.

Over half of Albania's population live in rural areas, the majority of whom are engaged in the agricultural sector. The poor condition of rural roads in the country is hindering the development of the private sector in small towns and villages.

The EBRD has so far invested 120 million euros (164 million dollars) for the modernization of transport infrastructure in Albania. Overall the bank has committed around 550 million euros ( 750 million dollars) in various sectors of the country's economy since it started operation in Albania in 1992.

Source: Xinhua
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