The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Union are stepping up their support for better connectivity in North Macedonia by financing the construction of a new section of the Corridor VIII motorway. A EUR 110 million EBRD loan will finance the construction of and supervision services for a 10.2 kilometre stretch of motorway from Bukojčani to Kičevo in the west of the country, as well as detailed design services for a 4 km subsection. The EU is co-financing the project with a EUR 20 million investment grant through the Western Balkans Investment Framework.The new road and resulting improvement in connectivity will underpin North Macedonia's economic development by making mobility and trade easier. The modern infrastructure will also help to improve road safety and make the road more resilient to weather-related damage.In North Macedonia, Corridor VIII stretches for around 305 km, with 62 per cent of the country’s population connected to it. Its development has been identified as a strategic priority for the country, but around 60 per cent of it has yet to be built to motorway standards. The country has made efforts to rehabilitate and extend parts of the existing road and build new sections, with the aim of fully modernising the route.Corridor VIII is an East-West road and rail transport corridor through Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania, linking Bulgaria’s Port of Varna on the Black Sea with Albania’s Port of Durres on the Adriatic Sea. It includes sea and river ports, airports, roads and railways, encompassing over 1,270 km of railway and 960 km of road.