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World Bank and Ministry of Finance sign USD 691 mln Financing to Improve Afghanistan’s Economy and Healthcare

The financing package includes grants of USD 231 million provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, as well as USD 425 million from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), and USD 35 million from the Global Financing Facility (GFF), both managed by the World Bank.


The World Bank 10 Apr 2018, 04:34 PM Afghanistan
World Bank and Ministry of Finance sign USD 691 mln Financing to Improve Afghanistan’s Economy and Healthcare
  • New financing package inked between World Bank and Ministry of Finance, Afghanistan (Image Credit: World Bank)

H.E. Eklil Hakimi, Minister of Finance and Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan today signed a new financing package totaling USD 691 million to help Afghanistan revitalize its economy and improve access to quality healthcare. At the time of signing H.E. Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health, H.E. Shahzad Aryobee, Minister of Communications and Information Technology and Mrs. Ethel Sennhauser, acting Vice President of World Bank for South Asia Region were present.

The new financing, which was approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors on March 28, 2018, aims to help Afghanistan increase access to quality healthcare, modernize state-owned banks, and expand regional telecommunication connectivity, e-government services and create enabling environment for private sector investment.

“Improving the quality of health services, strengthening the banking infrastructure and digitizing government systems will enhance our ability to deliver better and quality services to our people,” said H.E. Eklil Hakimi, Finance Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. “This contribution demonstrates the continued commitment and support of international community helping the government of Afghanistan implement priority reforms for sustainable development.”

The financing package includes grants of USD 231 million provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, as well as USD 425 million from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), and USD 35 million from the Global Financing Facility (GFF), both managed by the World Bank.

“Afghanistan is implementing an ambitious reform program in a context of strong budget pressures imposed by low domestic revenue, though improving, massive security spending and enormous development needs,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “In this challenging environment, we remain committed to helping the Government of Afghanistan further improve service delivery to the Afghan people. For example, the new health project will improve health and nutrition services for the entire population of the country in all 34 provinces.”

The total support of USD 691 million consists of three grants:

  • USD 600 million to the Afghanistan Sehatmandi (Health) Project to increase the utilization and quality of health, nutrition, and family planning services across Afghanistan. IDA will provide USD 140 million, while ARTF is expected to provide an additional USD 425 million, supplemented by a USD 35 million grant from GFF. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Public Health;
  • USD 51 million from IDA to the Afghanistan Digital CASA 1 Project to increase access to the affordable internet, attract private investors to the sector and improve the Government’s capacity to deliver digital government services, by supporting a regionally integrated digital infrastructure and creating an enabling environment. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology will be the implementing agency; and
  • USD 40 million from IDA to the Modernizing Afghan State-Owned Banks Project that aims to strengthen corporate governance and enhance the operational efficiency of state-owned banks. The project, to be implemented by the Ministry of Finance, will contribute to the modernization, transparency, and efficiency of the three Afghan state-owned banks: New Kabul Bank, Bank Millie Afghan and Pashtany Bank, and will modernize their IT infrastructure and develop sustainable business models to support inclusive growth.