"ADB is committed to working with the Government and the people of Afghanistan to promote peace and stability in their country, to improve living standards and to reduce poverty," said Mr. Lee in an address to the Conference on Consolidation of Peace in Afghanistan in Tokyo.
Mr. Lee emphasized that efforts continue to build capacity, and improve administration, financial management, planning and project design and implementation.
A year ago in Tokyo, ADB pledged to provide assistance to Afghanistan in the order of $500 million in concessional loans and grants over the first two-and-a-half years. ADB approved concessional loans and grants totaling nearly $200 million in 2002.
Mr. Lee said ADB will provide $150 million to support an Emergency Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Project, subject to approval of the ADB Board of Directors. This will focus on rebuilding key infrastructure in the transport and energy sectors, and is designed to help revive the economy.
In addition, ADB hopes to provide $50 million to support an agriculture sector program to develop policy and institutional reforms essential for sustainable agriculture sector growth and natural resource management, and $10 million in grant technical assistance, he noted.
Mr. Lee said, "ADB is playing a key role in the international community's efforts to plan and assist in Afghanistan's reconstruction. Working with the Government and other development partners, we are deeply committed to promoting a long-term peace-building process."
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