Government ministers announced the World Bank has pledged $298 million for the improvement of Afghanistan’s education at a ceremony in Kabul on Tuesday.
According to the officials, the fund will be spent on projects for rural areas – mostly for education.
“In higher education, this program will help build the capacity of public universities by sending them (students) for masters and doctoral programs,” said Humayun Qayumi, acting minister of finance, as he explained the details the projects that would be financed under the World Bank’s new pledge.
According to him, the pledge is $403 million – and $298 is for education, funded by the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) partners.
“In fact this $403 million will help the basic programs for Afghanistan’s human force particularly for women and we thank them ,” he said.
At the same event, World Bank Country Director Shubham Chaudhuri, said “our support from Afghanistan ultimately comes through the government and through our own budget support.”
He said the money is to help the Afghan government reduce poverty by investing in the future. Money will go to three programs - basic education, women's economic empowerment and to help strengthen higher education.
The bank will continue to support Afghanistan in its efforts to reduce poverty, he said.
He said through this program, they are trying to help rural women in communities realize the potential to improve their financial situation.
Meanwhile, acting education minister Mirwais Balkhi said of the amount pledged, $298 is for Afghanistan’s education.
According to him, 3.7 million Afghan children are out of school and that their absence affects the education in Afghanistan. He said this program will fund those children.
He added that the program will cover 7.3 million children and that the current decade has been the decade of education and they want to make a good result from the decade to improve the country’s education.
At the same event, Mujib Rahman Karim, acting minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, said the program has two sections: one of them is about reconstruction of schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and another is on economic development in rural areas which aims at improving the economy of those living in villages. He said it will cover 5,000 villages over five years.
Karim said the reconstruction of schools covers 6,000 schools which was announced by President Ashraf Ghani – in March.