ADB pledges continued assistance for Afghanistan

June 13th, 2008 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, June 13 (DPA) The Asian Development Bank said Friday that it has pledged up to $1.3 billion in new assistance to Afghanistan in the next five years. The Manila-based bank said in a statement that it made the pledge during a donors conference in Paris.

During the meeting, bank vice president Liqun Jin said Afghanistan had made remarkable progress since the fundamentalist Taliban regime was driven from power there in late 2001 in a US-led invasion but the country remained the poorest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Jin said “renewed efforts were needed” for Afghanistan’s further reconstruction and development. He also called for “more resolve to firmly address widespread and institutionalized corruption”.

“Over the coming five years, we will consider providing up to $1.3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan to finance roads, electricity and irrigation facilities,” he said.

The bank has already approved more than $1 billion in projects in Afghanistan in fulfilling previous pledges at donor conferences in Tokyo, Berlin and London.

Donors at this week’s Paris conference pledged about $21.4 billion in aid Thursday to give a political and financial boost to the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

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