KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (14 May 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Afghanistan inaugurated on 7 May a new power distribution network, which will help provide efficient and reliable electricity to around 200,000 people, who previously did not have access to electricity, in the southwest of Kabul.

The inauguration in Kabul was attended by Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat Chief Executive Mr. Amanullah Ghalib, ADB Energy Specialist Mr. Areg Barseghyan, senior government officials, and members of parliament. The project is financed from a $45 million grant under ADB’s $570 million Energy Sector Development Investment Program.

"Lack of access to reliable power supply constrains economic development, poverty alleviation, and inclusive growth in the country," said ADB Country Director for Afghanistan Mr. Samuel Tumiwa. "We are proud that we can contribute to the expansion of the power distribution network and help provide more electricity for households, businesses, health centers, and schools in the southwest of Kabul and, hopefully, make their lives better."

The demand for power is rapidly growing across Afghanistan. Despite significant progress since 2002, only about 32% of the population has access to grid-connected electricity, which increases the cost of doing business and is detrimental to the environment. Over the coming years, ADB will support the increase in the country’s electrification rate from 30% to 83% and lift the share of domestic generation from 20% to 67% by 2030. ADB will also play a major role in power transmission both regionally and domestically, and promote clean energy, including through solar power.

ADB is Afghanistan’s largest development partner in the energy sector with cumulative grant assistance of nearly $2.2 billion, all of which is on budget with the government. ADB has helped deliver electricity to more than 5 million people in Afghanistan. ADB has been working not only to develop power imports for urgently needed electricity, but also to provide distribution systems, develop domestic generation, build capacity and promote institutional reforms, and develop a large renewable program that will include off-grid options.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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