8 mln U.S. dollars agreement inked to tackle food crisis in Afghanistan
Xinhua / September 11, 2008
The Afghan government and the World Bank on Thursday signed an agreement under which 8 million U.S. dollars grant will be provided as part of the assisting programs to tackle food crisis in the war-torn country.
“The initiative of the agreement on The Afghanistan Food Crisis Response Project, which is signed by Afghan Finance Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady and World Bank Country Manager Mariam J. Sherman, is to enhance wheat and other cereal production by supporting small scale irrigation at the community level,” said a World Bank statement released here.
“As part of The Bank’s new Global Food Crisis Response Program, the project focuses on medium-term investments needed to increase food security over time,” it said.
“The project will support the rehabilitation of around 500 small, traditional irrigation schemes critical to the recovery of the country’s agriculture,” it said.
The statement also noted that the whole project will be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development through elected Community Development Councils in the provinces most affected by drought and food shortages.
Nearly 70 percent of Afghanistan’s wheat production comes from irrigated lands, according to the Afghan finance minister.
“It is important that we give priority to the rehabilitation of irrigation systems,” Ahady said.
As a leading lending agency, the World Bank has contributed more than 1 billion U.S. dollars towards rebuilding Afghanistan since 2002, with part of them soft loan.