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25.5m euros MoU inked with EU.

The government and the European Commission Delegation have inked a 25.5 million euros Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the implementation of the second phase of Panj Amu River Basin Management Project. Energy & Water Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan and European Commission Delegation head Hansjrg Kretschmer signed the MoU in Kabul on Sunday.

The memorandum seeks to further support the sustainable protection and economic and equitable management of water and land resources across the North-Eastern Panj-Amu River Basin.

A joint statement said it would be done by defining specific operating procedures and arrangements for the programme during its second phase, which would extend over a period of five years i.e. until 2014.

Ambassador Hansjrg Kretschmer said: "We have made significant progress in the water management component of the Agricultural Support Programme. Building on the achievements of ongoing projects, this memorandum establishes the framework for further work in this area because a lot still remains to be accomplished." He added the MoU would help improve the livelihoods of rural communities, stimulate economic growth and contribute to food security.

With a total budget of 25.5 million including a financial contribution made by the government of Afghanistan, the programme will include components such as development of institutional capacities, management and protection of water resources, upper catchments conservation and reduction in precipitation run-off.

The European Commission has supported the Integrated Management of Water Resources in Afghanistan since 2004 with a first allocation of 22.7 million euros followed by 27 million euros in 2005 and 12.2 million euros in 2007.

According to the joint press statement, the allocation to the Integrated Water River basin management approach to date amounts to approximately 62 million euros.

The European Commission has been engaged with the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan since 2001 and pledged 1.6 billion euros for the period 2002 2010. Out of the amount pledged, more than 1.4 billion euros have been committed and already 1.2 billion euros disbursed, demonstrating that the European Commission is fulfilling its commitments efficiently.

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Date:Oct 4, 2009
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