World bank to develop Pak-Afghan economic corridor along Khyber Pass

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank is committing $460.6-million project to expand economic activity between Pakistan and Afghanistan through the development of an economic corridor along the Khyber Pass.

“The construction of a 48km four-lane expressway linking Pakistan and its regional trading partners and upgrading the country’s infrastructure is an important component of Pakistan’s growth policy,” said World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Illango Patchamuthu.

The $460.6-million Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project will benefit consumers, producers and traders in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics through reduction in transport time and cost and private-sector investment.

Better infrastructure and more efficient border crossing will help Afghan medical patients and students coming to Pakistan.

The project will alleviate key constraints to the integration of private sector in Khyber Agency into global value chains. This complements activities by other development partners to increase access to socio-economic and job opportunities across the corridor.

The International Development Association, a concessionary financing arm of the World Bank, is funding the project.

Since 1950, the World Bank has provided $33.4 billion in assistance to Pakistan. The World Bank’s programme has four priority areas which include energy, private-sector development, inclusion and service delivery.

Current World Bank portfolio includes 45 projects with a net commitment of $8.24 billion.