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    Japan pledges $25m in aid to Afghanistan

    KABUL (PAN): The Japanese government on Thursday pledged $25 million in aid to the Ministry of Education for improving school buildings in three central provinces, officials said.

    An agreement to the effect was signed among Japanese Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Minister of Education Dr. Farooq Wardak, UNECIF Representative Peter Crowley and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) official Yoshiaki Yamada.

    Construction work on 70 schools in Bamyan, Daikundi and Ghor provinces would be launched during the current year and completed by the end of 2015, Farooq Wardak said after the signing ceremony in Kabul.

    He added more than 50,000 students would benefit from the new school buildings in the three provinces. According to Wardak, currently 4.2m eligible children have no access to education for lack of proper school buildings.

    In order to resolve the problem, he said, the ministry planned to build more schools in 14 less develop provinces during the next solar year.

    Takahashi said the Japanese government had prioritised aid to Afghanistan's education sector over past decade.

    mrh /mud