The World Bank granted $691 million USD in aid to Afghanistan at a ceremony attended by senior government officials on Tuesday.
Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi said this money would be invested in healthcare services for remote areas, the implementation of the Digital CASA project, increasing capacity of state-owned banks, and in standardizing services in banks.
“At least $40 million American dollars which will be spent for capacity building at the state-owned bank and for enabling them to work based on international norms,” Hakimi added.
Addressing the signing ceremony, Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz said healthcare services will improve in remote areas once the project is implemented.
“The difference with this project is that it is focusing on some key parts. The priority is accountability,” Feroz said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Shahzad Aryobi said the Digital CASA project will be implemented in all provinces in order to improve fiber optic cable services.
“The important part of this project is cyber security. We will boost cyber security through this project,” he said.
“Afghanistan is implementing an ambitious reforms program in a context of strong budget pressures imposed by low domestic revenue, though improving, (there is) 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,” he added.