World Bank signed grant agreement worth $52 million with Afghan Ministry of Finance to assist and support programs of Afghan government in various sectors of extraction of natural resources effectively and transparently. Related to signing the agreement, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, minister of finance said “Afghan government’s top priority is to enhance effective and transparent development of Afghan natural resources and for organizing the rich resources of the country, the government will act according to Afghan rule and laws and international norms”. Meanwhile, Wahidullah Shahrani, minister of mines, said, “Improvement of mining industry is vital enough for long-term economical growth of Afghanistan, augmentation of income, job facilities to thousands Afghans and maintenance of stability in the country.” He also mentioned remarkable reforms in the past 12 months at the Ministry of Mines particularly in the administration structures of the ministry and asserted it has been a big achievement in transparency sector. Briefing the reports related to results of the first project of World Bank, Josephina Bassinette, acting director for World Bank, said, “Results of the first project of world Bank are very important for the improvement of Afghan natural resources, particularly in capacity building and receiving certainty for maintenance transparency in mining sector including its nomination in EITI, which an international standard for organizing income obtained through industry of minerals and hydrocarbon. He added World Bank is to support Afghan government to everlastingly improve its natural resources.
Developing Afghanistan’s natural resources in an open, transparent and efficient manner is a top priority in the government’s agenda,” Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance, said today in an e-mailed statement. “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.