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Improving Access to Markets and Services in Bhutan

Of Bhutan’s rural population, 42 percent live more than one-hour by foot from the nearest all-season road, and half of those live between a half-day to a three-day walk from such roads. These isolated communities depend on animals and people to carry loads and have poor access to medical care and post-primary schools. Transportation costs in remote areas are between 50 and 70 times higher than in areas with motorised transport access. The high transportation costs keep farmers from diversifying crops or growing marketable crops, cause damage to perishable crops taken to the market, and limit the availability of extension services, thus impeding farming output and income.

In April 2007 the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved a $10 million IDA (International Development Association) grant to fund a second phase of the Bhutan Rural Access Project.  The objective of the Second Rural Access Project is to improve transport infrastructure and services for residents of beneficiary Dzongkhags (districts). Target beneficiaries include approximately 12,000 rural residents in several blocks of villages in Wangdue, Dagana, and Pemagtsel Dzonghags where the highest demand for access is found in the country.  

The project will finance the construction of new feeder roads and bridges as well as the upgrading of existing rural roads.

For more information about the Second Bhutan Rural Access project go to:

For more information about the 1st Bhutan Rural Access Project go to:


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