World Bank approves 97.5 mln USD for Afghanistan to combat COVID-19, drought impact

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KABUL, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — The World Bank has approved 97.5 million U.S. dollars in grant for Afghanistan to combat the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and droughts in the war-torn Asian country, the World Bank office in Afghanistan said in a statement reaching here Thursday.

The grant approved from the International Development Association (IDA) is to provide regular and predictable cash support to drought- and coronavirus-affected Afghans as well as to improve food and nutrition security, the statement said.

According to the statement, the grant will also help build early drought warning and response systems in the country.

“This new financial assistance will help the Government of Afghanistan lessen drought impacts that have displaced millions of Afghans and pushed them into poverty. The project’s support to Afghan rural households will contribute to overall poverty reduction and economic recovery,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank country director for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan reported its first COVID-19 case in February last year. The Public Health Ministry data released Thursday showed 55,557 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,430 deaths in the country. Enditem

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