World Bank approves grant for road upgrading in Uganda

World Bank has approved a 130.8-million-U.S.-dollar grant for upgrading roads in refugee-hosting communities in northwestern Uganda, according to a statement of the bank issued on Friday.

Approved on Thursday, the grant will ease the movement of goods and people and improve access to social services and job opportunities in the refugee hosting districts in the West Nile sub-region of Uganda.

“The Uganda Roads and Bridges in the Refugee Hosting Districts Project will upgrade 105km Koboko-Yumbe-Moyo road from gravel to bitumen and strengthen the institutional capacity of the Uganda National Roads Authority to manage environmental, social, and road safety risks,” the statement said.

Tony Thompson, World Bank country manager, said the road project marks their re-engagement and strong support for the transport sector, a key development pillar in Uganda.

“We expect it to bring economic and social benefits to both hosting communities and refugees and reduce the income disparities between West Nile and the rest of Uganda,” he said.

Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa and the third-largest in the world, according to bank figures.