World Bank OKs $12.5m grant for pension schemes
KABUL (PAN): The World Bank has approved an additional grant of $12.5 million to fund the continuation of a project to provide safety nets to the country’s poorest people and improve the public pension schemes.
Coming from the International Development Association (IDA), the bank's concessional lending arm, the additional financing will support the completion of building renovations and the rollout of the Management Information System (MIS) of the Public Pension scheme;
It would help scale up the administrative reform of the pension system to expand coverage to the Martyrs and Disabled Pension Program (MDPP), a statement from the World Bank said on Friday.
Expanding cash transfer interventions to another 10,000 - 12,000 poor families (nearly 60,000 individuals), the funding will continue to improve processes for effective targeting and payment delivery and build institutional capacity of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled to manage and implement the pension reforms and safety net policy.
Launched in 2009 to improve the administration of public pension schemes and pilot a modest programme to provide a social safety net to the most vulnerable people, the Safety Nets and Pensions Support Project has made steady progress.
Over the past two years, more than 16,000 of the poorest families and close to 80,000 individuals have received cash assistance, according to the statement that said the financing would help the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled scale up the progress made to date.
World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Robert Saum acknowledged: “Afghanistan has made promising progress in building institutional systems to better administer its pension schemes.”
The government’s efforts to identify and assist the poorest families in difficult winter times were equally commendable, Saum said, adding: "We are happy to continue supporting Afghanistan’s efforts to manage its social safety net programmes more efficiently, so that poor people can better withstand economic and weather-related hardships and benefit from economic growth.”
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.