New roads benefit most vulnerable provinces
In the provinces of Phongsaly, Houaphan, Oudomxay, Xiengkhouang Xayabouly and Bolikhamsay, the roads are bumpy and dangerous, with frequent landslides and flooding. Extreme weather closes roads. That prevents the inhabitants of remote communities from accessing markets, health services and schools for weeks at the time.
"By developing an integrated and sustainable urban project together with other insitutions, we are able to make a real impact on the quality of life for people – particularly the poor and vulnerable," says Meryn Martens, a senior transport specialist at the European Investment Bank. "This project allows the citizens of Laos to benefit from greater road safety, and it lowers health risks."
The road upgrade helps protect rural roads from flooding, storms and drought across Laos. It also provides more reliable and quicker travel, as average speeds on the roads doubled.
At the same time, the project also covers safety measures, including better roads signs, footpaths, pedestrian crossings and lighting.
The roads project included a €5 million grant from the European Investment Bank, in addition to the EU bank’s €20 million loan. A further €5 million grant came from the European Union’s Asia Investment Facility.
This story is part of a series, Chance for Change, which shows how our projects improve lives around the world. See more stories here.