ARTF steering committee holds session

KABUL: The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) Steering Committee, co-chaired by Mohammad Humyon Qayoumi, acting minister of finance and chief advisor on infrastructure to the President, and Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank country director for Afghanistan was held at the Presidential Palace, here yesterday, a statement from the Ministry of Finance said, adding the World Bank’s Vice President for the South Asia Region, Hartwig Schafer, also attended the meeting.
Ambassadors and representatives of 19 donor countries and organizations discussed the role of the ARTF, a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank, and reviewed progress of its three-year Partnership Framework and Financing Program financing strategy (FY 1397-FY 1399), the statement said.
The ARTF is a major source of funding for Afghanistan’s national budget and implementation of Afghanistan’s National Development Strategy. Through the ARTF, the Government works with international partners to reduce poverty, deliver essential services, sustain operating costs of the civilian budget and implement key reform efforts, according to MoF statement.
“Since its inception, the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARFT) is a key tool for Afghanistan’s financing. The government sees the fund as a flexible mechanism and appropriate framework for financing development needs and coordinating donor assistance according to Afghanistan’s priorities,” said Humayon Qayoumi, acting minister of finance in the opening remarks while focusing on the role and importance of the ARTF. “The government key objective is to implement Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) to increase domestic revenue, accelerate the self-reliance process and decrease aid dependency.  Our needs for donors’ grant will continue until 2020 and beyond until 2024. I express my sincere thanks to the continued support of Afghanistan’s fundraising sponsors. I express my gratitude to the continued support of ARTF donors,” he added. World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer noted that ”The ARTF is the World Bank’s largest and longest standing single country multi-donor trust fund.” He observed that the ARTF is an important source of knowledge for the World Bank and for other countries experiencing conflict. He assured the participants that the “World Bank Group remains committed to working with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its international partners for a better future for all Afghans”. Afghanistan World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Shubham Chaudhuri discussed how the government and international community can work together to advance Afghanistan’s priorities, including self-reliance, beyond 2020. ARTF Steering Committee members endorsed annual updates to the Partnership Framework and Financing Program, committed to continuing the partnership and its strong collaboration, and to promoting good value for money in the delivery of ARTF-financed programs, the statement added.
The Kabul Times

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