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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

From motorways to universities, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development pours more than Dh1 billion into Afghanistan projects

Report released on the country's independence day charts investment in developing nation

August, 2017 – Grants and loans from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development have been used to construct motorways and bridges in Kabul and housing and universities around the country. (ADFD handout photo)
August, 2017 – Grants and loans from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development have been used to construct motorways and bridges in Kabul and housing and universities around the country. (ADFD handout photo)

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has poured more than Dh1 billion into projects in Afghanistan, from building motorways to modern residential buildings, according to a new report.

The authority's grants and loans have been directed toward 18 development projects spanning agriculture, energy, transport, industry and health as well as social services, a country report marking Afghanistan’s Independence Day on August 19 stated.

This included about Dh136 million to the development of Afghanistan’s transportation sector, including the refurbishment of some of Kabul’s major roads and bridges. This two-phased project also involved the construction of three major roads totaling 17 kilometres, and the establishment of rainwater drainage systems and pedestrian sidewalks.

“In cooperation with regional and international institutions, ADFD is proud to spearhead this noble march to extend financial assistance for the greater good of the Afghan people,” said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of ADFD, said on the 98th anniversary of Afghanistan’s national holiday..

"Over a time span of four decades, the fund has significantly contributed to Afghan society through investments in sustainable infrastructure projects that benefit all citizens.”

In 2009, ADFD administered an Abu Dhabi government grant worth Dh55 million to further develop and rehabilitate the Mazar-e Sharif International Airport. This project included the construction of a new runway – to serve international flights – capable of accommodating large aircrafts, particularly Airbus 300 and Boeing 747 models, the rehabilitation and overhaul of the old runway, as well as building passage ways to link both runways and aircraft parking bays. Moreover, this project led to the construction of a new passenger terminal, restoration of the old terminal and also equipped the air control tower with navigation devices.

In terms of housing, the ADFD allocated Dh708 million in 2010 toward building 3,330 housing units across 53.8 hectares in Al Qasaba District in Kabul project.

Another ADFD contribution of Dh17 million led to the construction of the Baghlan Sugar Factory. Over the past years, this strategic project has supported the local Afghan economy and revitalised the agriculture sector through increasing the production capacity for exporting sugar.

In support of the Afghan government’s goal to improve the education sector, ADFD managed an estimated Dh27 million grant to develop the Sheikh Zayed University in Khost Province.