World Bank to assist Afghanistan
Kabul, May 8, 2006 (Xinhua) - The World Bank (WB) has decided to assist Afghanistan with 270 million U.S. dollars annually in the next couple years, the bank's country director announced Monday.
"For the last two years we have been providing money 100 percent in grant and the policy is to continue at around 270 million U.S. dollars a year. So, that is certainly for the next three years," Alistair McKechnie told reporters at a press briefing here.
Major part of some 1.3 billion U.S. dollars provided to Afghanistan by the Washington-based lending agency over the past four and half years was soft loan, McKechnie added.
"It is soft loan. I want to explain what is soft loan. It is for a duration of 40 years, and, for the first 10 years, none of the loan amount has to be paid back, and there is no interest but there is 0.5 percent to cover administrative cost," the WB's Afghanistan director noted.
All the assistance, he added, would be spent on building government capacity, strengthening administration, supporting private sector and good governance in the country.