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ADB renews Afghan infrastructure uplift pledge

ADB renews Afghan infrastructure uplift pledge

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Oct 06, 2017 - 00:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Afghanistaninfo-icon's infrastructure development and reform priorities.

ADB Vice-President Wencai Zhang, at meetings with President Ashraf Ghani and Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, discussed the bank's new country partnership strategy.

During his three-day visit to Kabul, Zhang also delivered a keynote address at the third Senior Officials Meeting October 5, a statement from ADB said on Sunday.

The two-day meeting, attended by delegations from 41 countries and 11 international development agencies, focused on the latest phase of partnership with Afghanistan.

The progress made in implementation of the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) was also reviewed by the participants.

Zhang said: “The government of Afghanistan has made significant progress on the implementation of ADB projects in the past two years resulting in important development impacts.”

He added: “ADB looks forward to continuing its partnership with the government and other stakeholders to develop infrastructure and bring prosperity to all Afghans.”

ADB is Afghanistan’s largest infrastructure development partner in the transport, energy, agricultureinfo-icon and natural resource sectors. The support is aligned closely with the ANPDF and the National Infrastructure Plan.

The first energy transmission interconnection with neighbouring countries, the first railway line and new technical assistance to improve the Salang Corridor are among the ADB-financed projects.

At the 2016 Brussels Conference, ADB had pledged to provide Afghanistan $887 million in grants from 2017 to 2020, including $20 million for disaster-risk reduction.

The grants will support the country’s transport, energy, and agriculture and natural resource sectors, with special attention to regional cooperation, governance and capacity building.

Zhang said ADB-financed projects had resulted in substantial improvements in infrastructure. However, the security situation, capacity limits and other implementation constraints hamper project implementation.

The ADB promised to continue working closely with the government to accelerate project implementation and overcome these challenges.

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