WASHINGTON (WORLD BANK) — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$35.25 million for a new project to improve the climate resilience of the Federated States of Micronesia’s (FSM) secondary road network.

The new project aims to deliver safer, more efficient and more reliable road connections to schools, clinics, markets and communities, with around half of FSM’s population to benefit from the project.

FSM’s population and transport network face the growing threat of rising sea levels, more intense storms and potential flooding. Improved planning around infrastructure upgrades is vital to ensuring FSM’s population can connect to vital services. The Strategic Climate-Oriented Road Enhancements (SCORE) Project will build on existing World Bank support for FSM’s transport sector, and improve the planning, design, construction and climate-resilience of FSM’s secondary road network – which includes reconstruction and repair work on roads across all four states.

“Ensuring Micronesians in every state have safe access, year-round, to the services they need – such as markets, hospitals, jobs, clinics and schools – is at the heart of this new transport project that the government of Federated States of Micronesia will be delivering with our support,” said Degi Young, World Bank Resident Representative for FSM, Marshall Islands and Palau.

The new project will also support new asset management and road safety programmes, together with initiatives to increase women’s representation in FSM’s transport sector and review the accessibility of road networks for people with disabilities.

The project also includes an option for the government to reallocate project resources in the event of an emergency or natural disasters, ensuring FSM can quickly respond to crises and disasters when they occur.

“In FSM, critical infrastructure including roads are often located within one kilometre from the coast and are vulnerable to severe weather events and climate change,” said Carlson Apis, Secretary of the Department of Transport, Communication & Infrastructure. “Governments in FSM, at both state and national level, have marked this as a priority area to address. Furthermore, President David Panuelo has attached great importance to these projects by making them part of his Pave the Nation Initiative. We are pleased to have the World Bank supporting our efforts through these important projects.”

The SCORE project will complement the existing World Bank-supported Prioritised Road Investment and Management Enhancement (PRIME) Project. While PRIME is addressing primary roads across FSM, SCORE will focus on the country’s secondary road network, which is vital for access to services, particularly for more isolated communities.

“Roads play a critical role in spurring economic growth and connecting people to markets and public services – these two projects will be an important backing in building FSM’s economy and enabling the country to build back from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Eugene Amor, Secretary of the Department of Finance.

With its approval, SCORE becomes the seventh project under the World Bank’s Pacific Climate Resilient Transport Programme, which aims to improve climate resilience of transport networks across the Pacific region.

The World Bank works in partnership with 12 countries across the Pacific, supporting 83 projects totaling US$2.16 billion in commitments in sectors including agriculture, aviation and transport, climate resilience and adaptation, economic policy, education and employment, energy, fisheries, health, macroeconomic management, rural development, telecommunications, and tourism…. PACNEWS

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