Afghanistan signed five agreements with India on Sunday to build educational infrastructure in their four provinces. Under this, India will seek to develop education in the provinces of Nuristan, Farah, Badakhshan, and Kapisa. The Indian Embassy said in a statement that the agreements were within the scope of the High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDP) initiated by the Indian government in Afghanistan.

The five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed under the high impact community development projects (HICDP) programme being implemented by India to further strengthen the bilateral development partnership, said a statement from the Indian embassy in Kabul, HT reported.

Since 2001, India has undertaken projects worth $3 billion in Afghanistan, including $1 billion pledged in 2016 under the “new development partnership” scheme over the period of five years. These projects are part of India’s commitment to assist Afghanistan emerge as a “peaceful, united, prosperous and pluralistic nation”, the statement said.

The projects to be taken up under the five MoUs include the construction of classrooms, a higher education building and a road within the campus of Albironi University.

Since 2005, the Government of India has committed $200 million to support more than 550 high-impact community development projects across Afghanistan. Of these, more than 400 projects have already been completed, while the rest are at different stages of implementation. These are usually smaller grassroots projects that involve lower financial expenditure but have a direct impact on local populations.

These agreements would further strengthened India’s development partnership with Afghanistan. They have been signed by Ambassador of India Vinay Kumar, Minister of Finance for Afghanistan Mustafa Master, Minister of Higher Education Abdul Tawab Balcarzai and Minister of Education Abdul Subhan Rauf.
“The government of India remains committed to take forward the India-Afghanistan Development Partnership based on the national priorities of the government and people” of Afghanistan, the statement said.

Despite an agreement signed by the US and the Taliban in February, Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in terrorist violence even as it grapples with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The intra-Afghan dialogue, a key component of the peace process, is yet to get underway, media reports.

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