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September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times
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MoF, WB sign grant agreements worth $350m to improve public services, job creation

KABUL: Acting Minister of Finance, Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, and Chief Advisor on Infrastructure and Technology to the President of Afghanistan, and Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan signed a new package of grant agreements in support of reforms valued at $350 million here yesterday, the MoF said in a statement.
The reforms are designed to improve efficiency and effectiveness in government operations for better revenue mobilization and service delivery. The new financing package supports reforms in the business environment, the energy sector, and land administration to promote economic growth and employment and reduce poverty for all Afghans, the statement added.
Addressing the ceremony, Humayon Qayoumi, acting Finance Minister and Chief Adviser for President of Afghanistan in the area of infrastructure said: “This new World Bank support is fully aligned with the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework, which will strengthen the policy framework to support state effectiveness, private sector investment, growth, poverty reduction, and improve public financial management.
He also thanked the World Bank and donors of the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) and wished to maintain their contribution in areas that are vital for Afghanistan’s economic growth.
The signed grant included, $300 million for the Incentive Program Development Policy Grant (IP-DPG), including $90 million from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and $210 million from the ARTF, administered by the World Bank on behalf of 34 donors. The IP-DPG aims to help the Government of Afghanistan continue maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment and pursue an ambitious program of policy reforms to support economic growth, private sector investment, poverty reduction, and improved public financial management, the ministry further said.
Meanwhile $50 million for the Public-Private Partnerships and Public Investment Advisory Project, which aims to develop a pipeline of feasible private and publicly funded projects to further develop Afghanistan’s infrastructure. The project will be financed by a $20 million grant from IDA and $30 million co-financing from ARTF.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Hartwig Schafer, a newly appointed World Bank Vice President for South Asia, who is currently visiting Afghanistan to discuss reforms and development progress in the country with the Afghan government and its international partners.
Speaking about the Public-Private Partnerships and Public Investment Advisory Project, Hartwig Schafer said: “This is a step towards maximizing the financing available for Afghanistan’s development. By mobilizing private capital for large investments, this project can boost progress towards some of Afghanistan’s key development priorities. It is a way to create partnerships that can benefit not only the Government and private sector businesses, but most importantly the people of Afghanistan.”
The Kabul Times

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