Pact signed for additional $49m Saudi development loan for Albanian road project

TIRANA — Sultan Al-Marshad, CEO of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), on Wednesday signed an agreement with Albanian Minister of Finance and Economy Delina Ibrahimaj to finance the 43 km Tirana second phase construction project – Elbasan – Qukës – Qafë Plloçë Road, with an additional development loan of $49 million.

The SFD is a Saudi government agency that provides development assistance to developing countries by financing social and infrastructure projects. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Ambassador to Albania, Abdullah Al-Shahri, as well as several Albanian officials.

Speaking on this occasion, Al-Marshad said that this project will have a positive impact on the social and economic development of Albania. “Furthermore, it will help support the infrastructure and provide Albanians with the opportunity to meet their daily needs. The project will also connect towns and villages with neighboring countries. He also commended the efforts made by both countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and hoped that this road project would serve as a pillar of development helping other sectors in Albania achieve growth and prosperity.

For her part, Delina Ibrahimaj hailed the important role of Saudi Arabia in supporting development projects and improving infrastructure in Albania. “These projects are of great importance for the lives of many beneficiaries, as they improve the social and economic conditions of Albanians,” she said.

The project aims to continue the earlier phase of the road construction project, financed by the SFD to the tune of 25 million dollars, with the aim of constructing a road linking the Albanian capital and remote villages to neighboring countries close to the south of the ‘Albania. In addition to connecting cities to each other, the project will improve road safety and quality and facilitate trade and economic relations with other countries.

The project is expected to benefit more than 600,000 people, meet people’s needs, alleviate difficulties in the transport sector and reduce road accidents and fatality rates.

This project is one aspect of the Saudi government’s support for Albania’s development through SDF-funded development projects and programs. It has granted, in recent years, four development loans to finance three development projects worth more than $114.5 million to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the infrastructure sectors in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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