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ARTF to donate $2.5bn to Afghanistan

AT-KABUL: The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) during a steering committee meeting pledged to contribute around $2.485 billion to Afghanistan’s national budget to reduce poverty, improvedevelopment and public-utility projects.

The ARTF convened on Monday a meeting co-chaired by Minister of Finance Eklil Hakimi and the World Bank Country DirectorShubham Chaudhuri with participation of ambassadors of donor countries at the Presidential Palace, Ministry of Finance said on Monday.

A multi-donor trust fund supported by 34 donors and administered by the World Bank, the ARTF is the largest source of on-budget financing for Afghanistan’s development, committed to support the government’s poverty reduction, service delivery and inclusive growth efforts. The fund has vowed to donate up to $2.485 billion over the next three years to the national budget.

The Steering Committee approved the ARTF’s proposed Partnership Framework and Financing Program (PFFP) FY1397-1399 (2018-2020), which outlines how the Government will spend those funds with support from international partners, added statement.

According to statement “ARTF is an important mechanism for reliable, predictable and transparent on-budget support to the Government of Afghanistan. All planned investments in the PFFP are aligned with our core priorities based on the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF). Through this mechanism we are able to pool aid financing provided by the international community through a single mechanism with higher standards of transparency and accountability” said Eklil Hakimi, Minister of Finance addressing the Steering Committee.

Under the new PFFP, funding will continue to be provided for the priorities in theAfghanistan National Peace and Development Framework, introduced at the 2016 Brussels Conference on Afghanistan. The largest portion of ARTF funds, 37 percent, will be devoted to poverty reduction, service delivery, and citizen engagement, including programs in health, education, and the Citizens’ Charter.

The ARTF will also support economic growth and job creation, governance and state effectiveness, and will provide fiscal stability support for civilian expenses of the Government, including civil servant salaries.

“The ARTF represents a unique partnership between Afghanistan and its international partners, one that has been in place since 2002, working for a better, more prosperous future for Afghanistan,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan.

“The 2018-2020 PFFP reaffirms the commitment of the ARTF partners to continue working with the government of Afghanistan to improve the lives of all Afghans” he added.

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