MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Afghanistan signed two grant agreements worth $130 million to finance a new road link that will open up an east-west trade corridor with Tajikistan and beyond.

“ADB is committed to support the development of a sustainable transport network and the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated transportation plan for Afghanistan,” said Thomas Panella, ADB Country Director in Afghanistan. “To date ADB has allocated more than $1.2 billion in Afghanistan for roads, railways, and airport projects."

The 108 km road in Badakhshan province is being funded under ADB’s ongoing Transport Network Development Investment Program, with the European Union providing additional cofinance of $21 million. The cofinance will be used to help strengthen the Afghanistan Railway Authority, improve the movement of goods and people along Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) road corridors, and to carry out a new pilot project to promote best practices in road operations and maintenance across Afghanistan.

“We are pleased with the continued cooperation of ADB through the efficient execution of this program and look forward to the possibility of more development partners support in Afghanistan’s transport sector,” said Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi.

ADB’s Transport Network Development Investment Program supports the reconstruction of 620 km of national and regional roads, community development subprojects in Afghanistan, detailed planning for expanding the Northern Afghanistan Railway, and other activities to promote the sustainability of the physical investments.

On top of $667 million in direct ADB assistance, the program has received $144 million in cofinancing from the Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund, with contributions from Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

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.

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