New milestone achieved in Afghan road sector reform: USAID
KABUL (Pajhwok): The creation of three new institutions to manage Afghanistan’s road sector was officially endorsed on Sunday and the proposal would now be presented to President Ashraf Ghani for his review and authorization.
“This structural reform will lead the Afghan road sector toward sustainability in terms of project design, construction, operation and maintenance and financing,” said Public Works Minister Mahmood Baligh told a ceremony in this regard in Kabul.
Ahmad Zia Massood, president’s special representative for Reforms and Good Governance, representatives from five Afghan ministries --- finance, justice, public works, urban development and transportation --- and the Independent Directorate of Local Government, and the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission were present on the occasion.
The Ministry of Public Works, in collaboration with the Road Sector Sustainability Program of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), designed a sectoral reform aimed at improving the management, financing, and efficiency of road operations and maintenance, the USAID said in a statement.
“This is a major step forward in creating a sustainable system to fund and maintain Afghanistan’s roads,” said USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith. “We are happy to partner today with the Ministry of Public Works in this significant achievement.”
Once established, these new institutions --- a Road Authority, a Road Fund, and a Transportation Institute --- will improve the accountability and efficiency of road-user fees in order to better fund and manage road operations and maintenance.
Based on international best practices, the objective is to shift road maintenance in Afghanistan from public sector management and financing to a self-supporting commercialized system.
USAID has invested more than $2 billion in the construction and rehabilitation of more than 2,000 kilometers of roads. This new initiative by USAID will ensure sustainability through knowledge building, good management, assured financing, and accountability in the future of the transportation sector in Afghanistan.
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