Following the return of the European Investment Bank (EIB) with new operations, the goal of Vice-President Pim van Ballekom's visit is to inspect certain key aspects of the projects supported by the Bank and strengthen cooperation with the Malagasy authorities.

Two loans were signed in June 2016 for reconstruction work in the wake of heavy damage caused by the spring 2015 storms, and for the completion of the Antananarivo ring road.

“I would like to thank the Malagasy Roads Authority (Autorité Routière de Madagascar) for making today's visits possible and the Agence Française de Développement, with which we are working closely on financing and at an operational level for the ring road,” said Pim van Ballekom. “I hope that the people of Antananarivo will be able to benefit from this infrastructure safely once the work has been completed.”

The work for the ring road includes the construction of two missing road sections – creating a full bypass – and a 1 km urban section to reduce congestion. It will also ease traffic flow and movement between neighbourhoods, particularly in the north and east of the city. This will reduce travel times and fuel consumption, benefiting the environment, and improve road quality, cutting vehicle maintenance costs.

“The EIB will finance the rehabilitation of urban roads, an operation of key importance for social, administrative and economic life in the capital. As part of this rehabilitation, five entry/exit points for the city of Antananarivo – all National Roads connecting directly with adjoining municipalities – have been given priority,” added Jean Pascale Ramanamisata, Director General of the Malagasy Roads Authority.

The infrastructure damaged in early 2015 will not only be repaired, but will also be adapted to improve resilience to any future flooding, which is likely to be worse due to climate change. More specifically, the work includes repairs to damaged roads and dams close to the capital, making them more resilient to extreme weather and adapting them to better protect the local population from flooding, and the strengthening of the Sahasinaka railway viaduct.