WBG committed to help Afghans alleviate poverty: chief
KABUL (PAN): The World Bank Group (WBG) chief, Jim Yong Kim, who met with President Hamid Karzai and other senior officials, on Thursday said the group was committed to helping the Afghans to promote growth and reduce poverty during and after the withdrawal of western security forces in 2014.
On his first visit to Afghanistan as World Bank Group President, Kim met with President Hamid Karzai, Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal, and other ministers and discussed the business environment with private sector leaders, the family of five international organisations said in a statement.
Kim noted that Afghanistan has achieved a great deal over the past decade. In 2012, 2.7 million girls were enrolled in schools, up from 191,000 in 2002, while the percentage of Afghans who have access to primary health care and essential hospital services rose to 60 percent in 2012 from only 9 percent in 2003, the statement said.
“The World Bank Group is strongly committed to helping the Afghan people end poverty and build shared prosperity in the years ahead,” Kim said at the conclusion of his visit. “Bolstering economic growth and job-creation will play a crucial role in enhancing stability and improving the lives of all Afghans.”
He said they would support programmes in areas that the Afghan government had identified as crucial to meeting its development goals, including education, health, irrigation, energy, infrastructure and rural development.
"We are also focused on improving the government’s capacity to deliver services to its citizens, and on fostering a business climate that unleashes the job-creating potential of the private sector,” Kim said.
His discussions with Afghan leaders focused on the need to engender strong, inclusive economic growth, reduce poverty, create jobs and fight corruption. Kim also emphasized that prudent fiscal policy and budget planning will help the government sustainably finance its development operations.
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