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Pact inked for $49 million additional Saudi development loan for Albanian road project
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 08 - 2022

TIRANA — Sultan Al-Marshad, CEO of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), signed on Wednesday an agreement with the Albanian Minister of Finance and Economy Delina Ibrahimaj to finance the construction project of the second phase of 43km Tirana – Elbasan – Qukës – Qafë Plloçë Road, with an additional development loan amounting to $49 million.
The SFD is a Saudi Arabian government agency that provides development assistance to developing countries by financing social and infrastructure projects. The signing ceremony was attended by Deputy Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Albania Abdullah Al-Shahri, as well as several officials in Albania.
Speaking on the occasion, Al-Marshad said that this project will positively impact the social and economic development of Albania. "Additionally, it will help support the infrastructure, and provide opportunities for Albanian people to meet their daily needs. The project will also connect cities and villages with the neighboring countries." He also praised the efforts made by the two countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and hoped that this road project would serve as a development pillar assisting other sectors in Albania in reaching growth and prosperity.
On her part, Delina Ibrahimaj praised the significant role of Saudi Arabia in supporting development projects and improving the infrastructure in Albania. "These projects are of great importance to 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, which SFD financed with $25 million, with the aim of constructing a road connecting the Albanian capital and isolated villages with neighboring countries near the south of Albania. Besides connecting cities to one another, the project will improve road safety and quality as well as facilitate trade and economic ties with other countries.
The project is expected to benefit over 600,000 people, meet the populations' needs, ease the hardship on the transport sector, and reduce road traffic accidents and mortality rates.
This project constitutes as an aspect of the support that the government of Saudi Arabia provides for the development of Albania through development projects and programs financed by SFD. It has provided, over the past years, four development loans to finance three development projects with a value of more than $114.5 million to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the infrastructure sectors to achieve sustainable development goals.

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