KABUL - World Bank on Saturday signed a $52 million grant with Ministry of Finance to support the government's efforts to manage natural resources effectively and transparently.
Officials in the Ministry of Finance said the grant will be spent to boost management of natural resources of the country in the next four years.
The project, which is the second Sustainable Development of Natural Resources project, will help mines ministry and the National Environmental Protection Agency to further improve their capacities to manage the country's mineral and energy resources.
"Developing Afghanistan's natural resources in an open, transparent and efficient manner is a top priority in the government's agenda," said Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance."The government remains committed to ensuring the country's rich mineral potential is managed according to internationally accepted norms and procedures for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan."
"Mining is a very important driver for the Afghan economy, including for employment generation," said WaheedullahShahrani, Minister of Mines. "We are currently streamlining the mining law and taking steps to introduce greater transparency."
The project is a step ahead to help Afghanistan become self-sufficient and back on its own feet, officials said.
"With initial assistance from the World Bank, the Afghan government has made steady progress on several fronts," said Josephine Bassinette, World Bank Acting Country Director for Afghanistan.
"They are not only implementing global standards of transparent management of mineral and hydrocarbon revenues, but are working to ensure that their remarkable natural resources will be used for the good of Afghanistan and for the communities where the resources are located," Josephine Bassinette added.