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The World Bank has agreed to fund $250 million for the third phase of Afghanistan's National Solidarity programme, the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) said Wednesday.

The minister said this third phase will cover more than 12,000 villages in the country which have not benefited previously.

"National Solidarity is currently in its third phase whereby we want to cover 12,000 villages where we have never been to, and also help another 12,000 villages that have completed their tasks and spent their funds, and who will receive funds for a second term," MRRD minister Wais Barmak said.

World Bank country director for Afghanistan, Robert Sam, said at the signing ceremony that the funding represented the bank's continued commitment to the war-ravaged nation beyond the power transition of 2014.

"The National Solidarity programme has demonstrated great success for ten years, and they have this great success to build on for many more years of success and sustainability," he said.

"Through these community development councils, one of the issues going forward would be the opportunity to sustain the gains that have been met in infrastructural cohesion and other community benefits including on the gender and work within the community," he continued, adding that the bank looked forward to working with Afghans throughout the transition period and beyond.

The Afghan minister said that over the past decade, more than 30,000 of up to 40,000 villages in the country have received benefits from the National Solidarity programme.

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