The World Bank has said it will fund an economic corridor along the Khyber Pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to boost trade between the two nations and Central Asia.
According to World Bank officials it is committing over half a billion dollars through two projects to support renewable energy in Pakistan’s Sindh province and expand economic activity between Pakistan and Afghanistan through the development of an economic corridor along the Khyber Pass.
“The projects will address Sindh’s energy needs through the generation of solar power benefitting the entire province and support trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan through regional connectivity and private sector development along the Khyber Pass corridor,” said Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
Patchamuthu said that “the construction of a 48km four-lane expressway linking Pakistan and its regional trading partners and upgrading the country’s infrastructure is an important component of Pakistan’s growth policy,” he said.
The $460-million Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project will benefit consumers, producers and traders in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics through reduction in transport time and cost and private-sector investment.
Better infrastructure and more efficient border crossing will help Afghan medical patients and students coming to Pakistan.
The project will alleviate key constraints to the integration of private sector in Khyber Agency into global value chains, said World Bank officials. This complements activities by other development partners to increase access to socio-economic and job opportunities across the corridor.
The International Development Association, a concessionary financing arm of the World Bank, is funding the project.