Fez – Morocco will further expand its extensive road network with three highway projects that will facilitate transportation and shore up the economy. The first project concerns a 143-km highway linking El Jadida to Safi in western Morocco.Construction, which started in 2011 and is expected to be completed by December 2016, is still underway with 40 percent of the project done. The El Jadida-Safi highway has an estimated cost of MAD 500 million, according to a communiqué released by Morocco National Highway Authority (ADM).The project is an added value to Morocco as it will connect the Doukkalah-Abda region with other neighboring regions, spur the dynamics of economical development facing the city of Safi and help attract more investment projects. The highway will feature six interchanges with closed toll collection systems, such as the highway linking Casablanca to El Jadida.The second project concerns Rabat’s belt highway which requires a budget of MAD 862 million to finalize it. Morocco’s capital ring road aims to give transit traffic the ability to bypass Temara, Rabat and Salé, saving time and avoiding accidents.Rabat’s peripheral road project will also connect the highways that converge toward Rabat-Salé from the South (Rabat – Casablanca Highway and its extension towards El Jadida and Marrakesh), from the East (Rabat – Fez highway) and from the North (Tangier – Rabat highway).Morocco’s National Highway Authority is also on its way to begin an upgrade project for the Casablanca-Berrechid Highway into a three-lane divided road.The highway upgrade will reportedly encourage activity in agriculture, retail, manufacturing and natural resources processing.According to the same source, Morocco aims at expanding its highways to 1800 km, which will serve logistics, construction, mining and industry.
8 December 2010The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the news that three Latvian men working as helicopter aircrew for the agency’s humanitarian air service in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region have been freed after more than a month in captivity. “We are so grateful that these three men have been freed and our thoughts are with their families in Latvia who will be reunited with them in the coming days,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. The three men – Captain Artjoms Nalbandjans, co-pilot Janis Gindra and mechanic Kaspars Reihlers – were seized by gunmen in the South Darfur capital of Nyala on 4 November while carrying out vital humanitarian work for the UN in Sudan.They will be flown to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, before travelling home to Latvia, WFP said in a news release.“Throughout their detention, WFP was assured that they were safe and well. WFP worked closely with the Government of Sudan at all levels for the safe release of the three men,” stated the agency.Run by WFP, the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flies aid workers from the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as journalists and others, to some of the hardest-to-reach emergency operations around the world. It plays a vital role in accessing remote locations and in cases where insecurity prevents travel by road.