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The Embassy of Afghanistan Signs Grant Agreements with the World Bank
Embassy of Afghanistan

06/16/2005

Washington, D.C. - Said Tayeb Jawad, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States, signed two major grant agreements totaling US$85 million with the International Development Association (IDA) at World Bank today, June 16, 2005. The funded projects aim at strengthening the higher education system and developing transportation infrastructure in Afghanistan. Ambassador Jawad welcomed the IDA grants and appreciated the overall efforts of the World Bank in helping rebuild Afghanistan through major reconstruction and development projects. He noted: “These significant grants will help address Afghanistan’s critical need for quality higher education to enhance our limited human capital, while facilitating movement of people, trade, and investment which would be impossible without a functional network of roads.” Ms. Mariam Sherman, the World Bank Deputy Country Director for Afghanistan, signed the agreements with Ambassador Jawad. The World Bank has so far provided US$856 million in reconstruction aid to Afghanistan of which US$516 million is in grant assistance. The level of continued rebuilding assistance to Afghanistan signifies the confidence of the international community in the Afghan government and Afghanistan’s future as a democratic, peaceful and prosperous country.

The IDA grants are funding the following two projects:

The Emergency Transport Rehabilitation Project: Supported by a US$45 million IDA grant, the project aims to support road rehabilitation in northeast of Afghanistan connecting Kunduz-Taloqan-Kishem. The project’s main development objective is to facilitate Afghanistan’s economic and social recovery through improved physical access to goods, markets, and administrative and social services. The project encompasses the following main activities: (1) removing key transport bottlenecks that seriously hamper economic recovery; (2) building capacity in management, implementation, and maintenance of transport services and works through the provisions of equipment and technical assistance related to planning, maintenance and supervision of works; and (3) assisting in the establishment of an institutional and policy framework for the sector for sustainable service delivery.

Strengthening Higher Education Program: Supported by a US$40 million IDA grant, the development objective of the Program is to progressively restore basic operational performance at a group of core universities in Afghanistan. This will provide an institutional base for an agenda focusing on tertiary education development, capacity building and reform. The Program is envisaged to be the first phase in a longer-term strategy for higher education development in Afghanistan. Moreover, it aims to act as a catalyst in attracting various resources to Afghan tertiary education with a long-term development framework.

Contact:
M. Ashraf Haidari
(202) 483-6410, (Ex-811)
Haidari@embassyofafghanistan.org

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