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Iran major donor in Afghan build-up

Iran’s role in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan has gained significance after delivering more than $350 million in aid on civil projects.

Since 2001 Iran has provided more than 350 million dollars in aid to Afghanistan. These contributions made Iran one of the major donor states after the removal of the Taliban in 2001, a Press TV correspondent reported Thursday.

Most of the aid has been spent on building roads across the country. The Dogharun-Herat trade route is one of Iran’s major projects. The 123-kilometer road was built at an estimated cost of 60 million dollars. The road is now a major trade route between Iran and Afghanistan.

“Our construction efforts are under way. We are investing heavily in road building projects as well as welfare and energy,” Iran’s Ambassador to Kabul, Fada Hossein Maleki, said.

The contribution of Iran has always been welcomed by the Afghans. However, experts say some of the projects have not been implemented well because of inexperienced Afghan workers.

“The Afghan government has not done enough for the implementation of some of the projects and this has created some problems,” Vaheed Mujde, an Afghan political expert, said.

Iran has also invested heavily in the Afghan healthcare system. There are dozens of Iran-led health projects across Afghanistan. The Fatima al-Zahra medical center in Kabul is one such project.

This center has been equipped with modern facilities and provides medical aid to more than 300 patients every day.

Many analysts say Iran’s role has proved to be more constructive in the past eight year than certain western countries claiming Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development to be their number one priority.

So far the international community has pledged about 50 billion dollars of aid to rebuild Afghanistan. However, dissatisfaction continues to be rife as the average Afghani man in the street does not see anything which could be put down to the impact of the ‘aid.’

Corruption and the lack of secure spending grounds for any aid given coupled with ineffective utilization of foreign aid, analysts argue, are the root causes of the dissatisfaction felt by all and sundry.

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