World Bank pledges $298 million for education in Afghanistan

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KABUL (TCA) — Afghan government ministers announced that the World Bank has pledged $298 million for the improvement of Afghanistan’s education at a ceremony in Kabul on October 23. According to the officials, the funds will be spent on projects for rural areas – mostly for education, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

“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 of 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,” he said.

At the same event, World Bank Country Director Shubham Chaudhuri 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.

Meanwhile, acting education minister Mirwais Balkhi said that 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.

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.

Sergey Kwan

TCA