Signing Ceremony for 57 Small Development Projects
Since 2002, the Government of India has committed USD 2 billion dollars to the socio-economic rebuilding of the Afghan state and society in accordance with the development priorities of the Government and the people of Afghanistan. As part of India’s bilateral and demand-driven development partnership with Afghanistan, the Small Development Projects (SDP) scheme was launched in 2006 to address the socio-economic and development needs of rural communities in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Economy, Government of Afghanistan was designated as the coordinating body for the scheme on the Afghan side.
Phases I and II of the SDP scheme had an outlay of USD 20 million. Further, in November 2012, the Government of India and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan signed an MoU earmarking an additional USD 100 million for Phase III of the SDP scheme extending project assistance spread across all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. The projects are to be identified by Provincial authorities, mainly the Governor of the respective province, and the project proposal is prepared/fine-tuned by the relevant line Ministry.
Today, the Embassy of India, the Ministry of Economy and the relevant line Ministry are signing 57 project proposals for which financial approvals have been received from the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India recently.
51 project proposals approved under Phase III of the SDP scheme pertain to the health sector in Afghanistan and involve the construction of Basic Health Clinics (BHCs) and Community Health Clinics (CHCs) in 17 provinces of Afghanistan – Badakshan, Bamiyan, Balkh, Daikundi, Faryab, Ghazni, Helmand, Kapisa, Laghman, Nimroz, Uruzgan, Paktika, Panjsher, Sar-e-Pul, Samangan, Takhar and Zabul for a total value of USD 10.48 million.
Of the 6 project proposals approved under Phase I and II’s residual amounts of the SDP scheme 4 relate to the education sector (construction of schools) for a total value of USD 1.049 million in Badakshan, Nimroz and Paktika. The other two relate to the agriculture sector in Kandahar.
In July 2013, 60 MoUs pertaining to SDP Phase III projects of value USD 14.224 million were signed. With the signing of MoUs for another 51 SDP Phase III projects, the total value of approved projects under the USD 100 million SDP Phase III scheme stands at USD 24.704 million. The Embassy of India looks forward to the early completion of these and earlier projects sanctioned under Phases I,II and III of the SDP scheme.
The approval of these 57 projects and today’s signing ceremony reflects India’s clear and abiding commitment to assisting Afghanistan on its road to recovery by working closely with the Afghan Government and its rural communities. As a predominantly rural developing country ourselves, India is acutely aware of the formidable challenges faced by rural communities in Afghanistan who lack optimum access to health and education services as well as energy and infrastructure. With regard to these 57 project proposals being approved today, our thrust and focus has been on the health sector (51 projects). We hope that these projects will contribute to the strengthening of communities impacted by them. We wish to thank the Ministry of Economy, several line Ministries and the Provincial Governors we have been working closely with on the implementation of the SDP scheme.
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