Afghan infrastructure gets US$ 754 million boost

20 September 2011

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved US$ 754 million in funding to help rebuild Afghanistan's road and rail network.

The funds will support improvements to 600 km of roads - some 7% of the total national and regional highway network - as well as improvements to the country's rail network, including new tracks and stations between Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province, and the northern district of Andkhoy.

The latest funds come after the ADB approved grants totalling US$ 340 million to fund the completion of a 2700 km ring road connecting the towns of Qaisar, Bala Murghab, and Laman in north western Afghanistan in January.

In total, the ADB has contributed US$ 1.7 billion in loans and grants towards the reconstruction of Afghanistan's infrastructure over the past decade.

ADB director general for central and west Asia Juan Miranda said, "With the development of modern road, rail and energy networks, Afghanistan is poised to reap the benefits of its strategic location and become a pivotal crossroads for trade and commerce in the region".

ADB is supporting the country in becoming a key player in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program - a 10-country partnership that promotes the implementation of energy and transport projects that link Europe, East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

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