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The Afghan Ministry of Finance has inked a $482.3 million funding package in grants with the World Bank to help the country through a tough phase in its struggle to eliminate poverty.
The bank said the package will enable Afghanistan to support communities with refugees, enhance private-sector opportunities for the poor, promote the development of five cities, expand electrification, enhance food security, and build rural roads.
The funding comprises grants from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Banks fund for the poorest countries, as well as contributions from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), managed by the World Bank on behalf of 34 donors.
Finance Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Eklil Hakimi, said, This package of assistance is a reaffirmation of our joint commitment to address development and economic challenges faced by our people. Better service delivery, improved living conditions and more job opportunities will be created. Our people in both rural and urban areas will be the main beneficiaries of this assistance," All this assistance will be channeled through the national budget and will be spent with full transparency and effectiveness.
Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, added, Todays signing of the new financing reaffirms the World Bank Groups commitment to the Afghan people as they strive to overcome daunting development challenges compounded by a difficult security environment. We are encouraged by the governments determination to build upon progress to date in several areas, including institutional reforms, revenue generation, and provision of basic services in health, education, and rural access sectors.