World Bank’s support to Afghan Government’s own efforts

7 Jun 2009

World Bank’s support to Afghan Government’s own efforts

KABUL - The World Bank in Afghanistan has announced a new assistance strategy for the country.

Ensuring the effectiveness of sound national programmes that deliver services equitably and pooling donor resources are vital to improve the effectiveness with which aid is utilized in Afghanistan, says the new strategy for Afghanistan.

"We are working with the Government to support their efforts, and let me emphasize that, their efforts," said Nicholas Krafft, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan.

"This includes getting the roles right for everyone. Government's role is overseeing, regulating and ensuring that citizens get their fair share of services provided through the public sector, NGOs, community groups or private providers depending on the circumstance. Where donors rally behind national leadership and a clear strategy, which indeed exists in Afghanistan for some important programs, our coordinated efforts work best," he added.

The latest strategy from the World Bank, details the group’s approach in Afghanistan to help the country achieve its development goals.

It covers the period 2009 - 2011 and envisages a grant for programmes of around US $600 million.

The Bank will continue to bolster core government systems as the basis for credible state building, through efforts to strengthen public financial management, fiscal sustainability, and improved transparency and accountability.

Key to the Bank’s approach in the country is enhancing partnerships with other donors to ensure aid is used effectively.

Currently, around 60 international donors are active in Afghanistan, and aid is often fragmented and focused in select provinces, pulling resources away from national programs and undermining the legitimacy of the state.

The Bank will also continue supporting growth of the formal private sector through lending and advisory work as well as identify and address specific measures that catalyse business growth.

It will also invest directly in local companies, including banks, to help them expand business.

In addition, the International Financial Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is working with a number of local companies including local banks, and continues to provide technical assistance in the financial sector.

The World Bank’s Board has also approved a Development Policy Grant of US$ 35 million for Afghanistan.

The grant supports the Government to consolidate previous achievements under the ongoing public financial management and public administration reform agenda.

Total World Bank commitments to Afghanistan since 2002 have reached US$ 1.87 billion, comprising US$ 1.43 billion in IDA (International Development Association) grants and US$ 436.4 million in IDA credits.

By Kangying Guo, UNAMA

Website: World Bank Afghanistan