USAID to provide direct assistance to Afghan ministries
KABUL (PAN): Finance Minister Mohammad Omar Zakhilwal, US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, and USAID Mission Director Earl Gast on Tuesday signed joint statements promising direct financial support to Afghan ministries from USAID.
This kind of support is known as on-budget assistance or government-to-government assistance. Also signing statements accepting on-budget assistance were Acting Public Health Minister Suraya Dalil, Education Minister Ghulam Farooq Wardak, Public Works Minister Abudl Qudos Hamidi, Communications and Information Technology Minister Amirzai Sangin, and Mines Minister Waheedullah Shahrani.
“Today, USAID and the government of Afghanistan stand together to build better lives for the people of Afghanistan,” said Eikenberry. “With the announcement of these projects and the ministries that will manage them, there is a strong message of hope and commitment for the Afghan people,” he said.
In Dec. 2010, USAID submitted to the Afghan government a list of more than 25 on-budget assistance programmes. The Finance Ministry selected eight of these as priorities and met with USAID and relevant ministries to finalise the projects, which were recently approved by the national assembly, the Wolesi Jirga. In the first tranche of direct assistance, USAID will provide more than $90 million for those programmes, according to a USAID statement.
Zakhilwal gave an unequivocal message to the ministries on the occasion: “Meet the challenge to increase [the Afghan government’s] capacity and pledge to our partners so that we can deliver basic services to the people of Afghanistan," he said.
On-budget assistance is playing a key role in the Afghan government’s transition.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.