Kabul: The Steering Committee of the Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund (AITF), administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), today held its annual meeting to review progress and discuss AITF’s role in supporting Afghanistan’s infrastructure development needs.
The virtual meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Finance and ADB Alternate Governor Abdul Habib Zadran and ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Eugenue Zhukov. Deputy Minister for Policy of the Ministry of Finance Nazir Kabiri, ambassadors, and senior representatives of donor countries and organizations attended the meeting. The Steering Committee provides high-level oversight and guides AITF implementation at policy level.
“We are thankful to ADB and development partners for supporting AITF. Infrastructure development is crucial for Afghanistan to achieve the goal of self-reliance,” said Mr. Zadran. “Since its establishment in 2010, ADB and AITF development partners have invested in highly needed infrastructure projects, which helped people and businesses with access to markets and electricity, created jobs, and reduced poverty.”
AITF is the largest conduit for development partners’ assistance to Afghanistan’s infrastructure sector. It is a multi-donor fund for bilateral, multilateral, and individual contributors. To date, development partners have committed around $752 million, of which $570 million has been allocated.
“By investing in key infrastructure projects through AITF, development partners have made a significant contribution to fostering Afghanistan’s economic growth and improving livelihoods of the Afghan people,” said Mr. Zhukov. “While more support is needed, ADB and the Government of Afghanistan are working together closely to transform AITF into a flagship vehicle to address gaps in public infrastructure.”
ADB Country Director for Afghanistan Narendra Singru presented the overall progress and achievements of AITF in the meeting. He outlined efforts to monitor the evolving security situation in Afghanistan, including close coordination with development partners to provide effective support. The Steering Committee discussed priorities in the coming years and provided guidance on the AITF’s overall progress and strategic directions. Members committed to continuing their partnership under the fund to help Afghanistan reach its development needs.
Current AITF partners are the Afghanistan National Army Trust Fund; Government of Canada; Government of Japan; KfW Development Bank of Germany; United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; and the United States Agency for International Development.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.