ARF grants $250m for 3rd phase of NSPBy Zarghona Salehi Jan 23, 2013 - 18:02
KABUL (PAN): The Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund (ARF) on Wednesday pledged a grant of $250 million for the third phase of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), the government’s flagship development project.
An agreement to the effect was inked between Deputy Finance Minister Mustafa Mastoor and World Bank Country Director Robert J. Saum in Kabul. Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development Wais Barmak was also present.
An important programme of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, NSP was launched in 2003 to ensure balanced development of the country. Projects like schools, health care centres, drinking water wells, small dams, etc are implemented under it, with 10 percent contribution from residents.
Many projects had been executed during the two phases of NSP in more than 30,000 villages of the country, Mustafa Mastoor after the signing ceremony. The ARF had granted $250 to implement the third phase of the programme, he added.
Barmak said third phase would cover 27,000 villages in different provinces of the country. With the completion of the third phase, 95 percent of the country would benefit from NSP, the minister added.
A sum of id="mce_marker".5 billion is needed to implement the third phase of NSP, which has so far received nearly $750 million from ARF, according to Barmak, who acknowledged the people had also played an important role by contributing id="mce_marker"35 million over the past decade.
Saum called the NSP an important programme, promising the World Bank and other donor agencies would continue assistance for it. He added the bank had provided $40 million for the implementation of its third phase.