Islamabad: Pakistan has announced the approval of funds worth Rs549 million for two development projects in Afghanistan.
The recent grant includes the approval for Rs61 million funds for the feasibility study for the construction of a new railway link from Peshawar to Afghanistan’s city of Jalalabad. Nearly Rs488 million have also been approved for the construction of different health projects, including Jinnah Hospital Kabul, Aminullah Khan Logari Hospital in Logar province and Nishtar Kidney Hospital in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province.
The assistance is part of Pakistan’s development partnership with the neighbouring country under the government’s Afghanistan Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Programme. Economic development and reconstruction of Afghanistan is Pakistan’s top priority, said Secretary of the Ministry for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Mathar Niaz Rana who chaired the meeting in which the grant was approved.
Rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan
Pakistan is supporting reconstruction in the war-ravaged neighbouring country by building the hospitals, schools and roads to help improve the lives of Afghan people.
Pakistan’s development assistance to Afghanistan has now reached US$1 billion in the past years and the assistance is geared towards investment in infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and capacity building of Afghan professionals.
In 2019, Afghanistan’s second-largest hospital, Jinnah Hospital, which is a 200-bed, state-of-the-art medical facility in Kabul, was opened at a cost of more than $24 million as part of Pakistan’s contribution to reconstruction and development efforts.
Pakistan has awarded thousands of scholarships to Afghan students during the last decade. In 2020, the country’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) announced around 3,000 scholarships worth Rs1.5 billion for Afghan students to study in different institutes of Pakistan in various fields, including medicine, engineering, agriculture, management and computer science.