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Afghanistan: A New Beginning

December 19, 2006

December 19, 2006 - In the five years since the end of the Taliban rule, Afghanistan has made significant strides in overcoming decades of war and strife, and is working toward catching up on all the lost years of development. Although deteriorating security conditions in some parts of the country are handicapping development efforts and challenges abound, development projects are improving people's lives.

The World Bank has committed over US$1.13 billion for 17 projects and two budget support operations since 2002. It is also administering the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, which is evolving into a major source of technical assistance and investment support for Afghanistan.

National Solidarity Program: This government flagship program, present in all of the country's 34 provinces, is the largest effort ever aimed to improve living conditions in rural areas.

Microfinance: In 2003, the government, together with donors, started promoting microfinance to help poor people become economically independent, instead of relying on humanitarian assistance.