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OPEC Fund loan to upgrade key road in the Kyrgyz Republic, improve connectivity
May 12, 2023: The Kyrgyz Republic will benefit from improved transportation links thanks to a US$15 million loan by the OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) for the reconstruction of the Suusamyr-Talas-Taraz road. The project, jointly financed with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Saudi Fund for Development, will improve domestic and regional connectivity and integration.
Speaking at the signing of the loan agreement during the IsDB Annual Meeting in Jeddah, OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said:
“The upgraded road will support regional trade and the development of tourism. It will contribute to the overall socio-economic well-being of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Eurasia region. Today we are signing the fourth phase of this project after the successful conclusion of three earlier stages of development and this demonstrates the excellent cooperation and delivery among all partners involved.”
The Suusamyr-Talas-Taraz road is nearly 200 km long and crosses the country from east to west. Once the final 83 km are finalized under phase four, access to neighboring Kazakhstan will be vastly improved, creating potential new markets for the more than 270,000 inhabitants of the region who mostly work in agriculture and light industry.
Improved connectivity facilitates the movement of goods, services and people, boosting trade and tourism, creating jobs and increasing economic growth. In addition, efficient transportation infrastructure can enhance access to basic services such as healthcare, education and emergency services, improving the overall wellbeing of the population.
Improving connectivity and transportation is a strategic priority of the Kyrgyz National Development Strategy (2018-2040) and critical to the country's economic development. As a landlocked country, the Kyrgyz Republic heavily relies on road and air transportation to connect externally and to link its various regions with each other.
The OPEC Fund has supported development operations in Kyrgyzstan since 1997 through the extension of loans and grants in transportation, education, health and agriculture. To date, the OPEC Fund has provided seven private sector loans for close to US$50 million in the Kyrgyz Republic.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$24 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$190 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA, Outlook Positive by S&P. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.