The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $132 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) on June 24,2021 to help Afghanistan continue implementing critical reforms to improve public spending and fiscal transparency, strengthen governance, and mobilize private investment toward economic recovery.
The 2021 Incentive Program Development Policy Grant aligns with the government’s priorities under the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework II (ANPDF II). It complements a $300 million grant from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF).
“Today’s Board approval reaffirms the World Bank’s strong commitment to helping the Afghan people recover and build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “In these difficult times, the World Bank stands ready to work closely with the government of Afghanistan to maintain its reform momentum and sustain its progress toward inclusive growth and self-reliance.”
Amid political uncertainty, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted Afghanistan’s economy, public finances, and social development outcomes. In 2020, the Afghan economy shrank by around 2 percent as lockdowns drove significant job losses, especially for informal and service workers. In recent months, poverty has likely increased further because of worsening droughts and difficult economic conditions, compounded by intensifying insecurity and political uncertainties.