ADB pledges up to $1.3 billion for Afghanistan
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) pledged up to $1.3 billion in new assistance for Afghanistan at a donor conference in Paris.
Speaking in Paris, ADB Vice President Liqun Jin said Afghanistan has made remarkable progress over the past seven years, but that the country remained the poorest in the Asia-Pacific region and renewed efforts were needed.
Mr. Jin said progress toward several aspects of the Government’s reform agenda “are still pending.” He called for “more resolve to firmly address widespread and institutionalized corruption.”
Mr. Jin said the privatization of state-owned enterprises was slow, while the Government had not yet instituted a system to maintain newly built infrastructure, such as roads, electrical transmission lines or irrigation canals. He said there still was not a practical action plan to address the production and trafficking of opium.
Still, Mr. Jin expressed ADB’s “unwavering commitment to support Afghanistan’s further reconstruction and development.”
“Over the coming five years, we will consider providing up to $1.3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan, to finance roads, electricity and irrigation facilities,” Mr. Jin said.
To date, ADB has approved more than $1 billion in project activities in Afghanistan in full accordance with its earlier pledges at donor conferences in Tokyo, Berlin and London.