The Government has prioritised infrastructure investments as a key area for accelerating economic growth and sustainable regional development. Over the last five years, more than EUR 1 billion has been committed in investments in transport infrastructure in over 20 projects in North Macedonia, the majority of which are funded by various International Financial Institutions (IFIs). These projects have to be implemented by only two state agencies, the Enterprise for State Roads and the Railway Infrastructure Company, which lack required resources to implement these complex projects in accordance with the initial working plans. The EBRD is one of the leading IFIs with a total exposure in the transport sector in North Macedonia of EUR 763m, out of which active commitments of EUR 545m. The undisbursed amount of the actual commitments have reached EUR 435m this year, as a result of significant delays registered by several key infrastructure projects. As lead IFI, EBRD also mobilised significant grant funds (in excess of EUR 100m) from Western Balkan Investment Framework (WBIF) and other donors that can be lost in case further delays are registered in implementation. During EBRD’s new country strategy consultation visit, the possibility of committing funding and expertise to set up a dedicated ‘troubleshooting’ team, directly subordinated to the Deputy Prime Minster cabinet, to provide technical and legal capacity to the Government for all ongoing transport projects which will unlock investment in transport infrastructure was discussed. EBRD proposes to provide technical assistance and donor funding for the establishment and operation of the “Transport Infrastructure Delivery Unit’ by providing funding for the professional staff required ensuring its effective functioning.
The objective of the ‘Transport Infrastructure Delivery Unit’ (TIDU) will be to ensure more efficient cross-minister coordination and implementation of the committed transport projects. The outcome of this Assignment is expected to be an acceleration of implementation of the transport projects and a significant decrease of the undisbursed loans’ amount. EBRD proposes that the TIDU comprises 4 international experts and one local expert funded by the Bank: two international Senior Experts in International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) standards, one international Environmental Expert with significant expertise in IFIs’ environmental policies, one Social Expert with relevant experience in land acquisition and expropriation, and one local expert to coordinate activities with the relevant ministries and state agencies, and to identify and facilitate the provision of capacity-building trainings by the international experts.
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