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WB approves $400 million grant for Afghanistan

WB approves $400 million grant for Afghanistan

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May 08, 2020 - 11:17

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Worldinfo-icon Bank (WB) has approved a $400 million grant to help Afghanistan sustain the pace of key economic and public finance reforms, according to a statement on Friday.

The grant will support the Afghanistan to manage current risks and uncertainties compounded by the Covid-19 crisis, the statement said.

The Incentive Program Development Policy Grant comprises $160 million from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and $240 million from the Afghanistaninfo-icon Reconstructioninfo-icon Trust Fund (ARTF), managed by the World Bank on behalf of 34 donors. 

The Incentive Program Development Policy Grant will support a range of key reforms to improve business regulation and encourage private investment, expand social inclusion and support civil service reforms, increase resilience to natural disasters, improve tax administration and public financial management, and safeguard fiscal sustainability.

“Today’s Board approval is a strong indication that the World Bank is redoubling its efforts to help Afghanistan and its people beyond the current COVID-19 crisis,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “This assistance will help Afghanistan maintain its reform momentum throughout a difficult period and provide vital financial support to the government to manage revenue shortfalls arising from coronavirus impacts.” 

Afghanistan faces major challenges and uncertainties in 2020. The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate negative impact on Afghanistan. Border closures have severely impacted government customs receipts, while measures to contain the spread of the virus are likely to have a strong negative impact on economic activity. Poverty remains deep and widespread, while security and political uncertainties continue.

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