Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund Receives Boost from Donors

Broadcasters Resource | 18 March 2014

The Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund is managed by the ADB and is helping to build and run infrastructure to promote security and drive development. The governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan are providing an additional $286 million to the fund.

Transcript

VO: Years of conflict and war has left this land-locked Central Asian country the poorest nation in Asia and the Pacific.

Afghanistan – a fragile state – is now struggling to improve its infrastructure, institutions, governance and security.

The Asian Development Bank plays a key role in helping the country get back on its feet by providing electricity, setting up a telecommunications systems and linking the country to the region through railways and roads.

Among the ADB flagship projects in Afghanistan is the construction of the 75 kilometer railway line between Mazar-e-Sharif and the Uzbekistan border.

Other major ADB projects in Afghanistan include power transmission lines from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and the last section of the 233 kilometer ring-road from Qaisar to Leman.

SOT: In the past the unpaved road brought problems such as pollution. But now with the presence of a road, we have overcome those problems.

VO: Building all these facilities has left a huge impact on the lives of the Afghan people, who now see a glimmer of hope after decades of turmoil.

SOT: Ahmed Wali Shairzay, Deputy Energy Minister

The entire basis for economic and social development depends on electricity. The amount of time it took to bring this power to Kabul in the absence of anything that was there before is a miracle and we are really greatly thankful.

VO: In order to implement these projects, it’s important to harmonize aid coming from the various agencies assisting Afghanistan.

ADB manages the Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund, or AITF, which pools donor resources to co-finance and complement ADB projects.

SOT: Joji Tokeshi, Country Director, Afghanistan Resident Mission, ADB

The AITF is a co-financing mechanism through which we are helping the co-financing of infrastructure projects that ADB has in its pipeline and this is a good mechanism through which most development partners that are interested in providing funding for the infrastructure projects can do in a confident manner.

VO: Right now, ADB envisions bringing energy to the south of Afghanistan – an area that remains undeveloped.

But so far through the AITF, ADB has managed to fund important projects that bring hope and progress to a country that is slowly emerging from its troubled past.