WAM ABU DHABI, 16th May, 2013 (WAM) — In line with its drive to support progress in developing countries, the Acting Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi and his accompanying delegation have attended a foundation stone laying ceremony for a housing project in Kabul.
The total cost of the project is US$182.58 million (around AED 670.61 million) and funding came under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who called for supporting the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
The Abu Dhabi government has allocated a grant of US$250 million (equivalent to AED 918 million) for the Government of Afghanistan in order to participate in international efforts to support development programs in Afghanistan.
The ceremony was attended by the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, and present from the UAE side was Saeed Mohammed AlShamsi, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organisation Affairs along with Chancellor Jumah AlKaabi, attending on behalf of the UAE Ambassador. In addition, there was a large presence of ministers, top officials and ambassadors in the country.
Administered by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the grant will fund a number of vital developmental projects that will contribute to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, including the current housing project which aims to provide a number of housing units to meet the needs of the Afghan capital suffering from a severe shortage in the number of housing units available, as well as relieving pressure on other cities and urban areas.
Under the housing project plans, 3330 housing units will be constructed in the capital, Kabul, over a total area of 53.8 hectares; these units were designed to be in line with the pattern of family life for Afghan families.
On the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Acting Director General of ADFD said, “The grant will effectively contribute to the support of the Afghan government’s efforts to achieve comprehensive development, which it seeks to obtain, and would enable them to face their development difficulties, and implement efficient plans to uplift the living standards of their people.” Al Suwaidi also stressed the keenness of the government of Abu Dhabi to support the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and always be a key partner in contributing to advancing the process of social and economic growth, thus meeting the needs of sustainable development in Afghanistan.
ADFD involvement in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan goes back to 1977. Since then, ADFD has offered and managed grants and loans totaling more than AED 1,045 billion focusing on the sectors most influential in the development process in Afghanistan.