U.S. Trade and Development
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1600 * Arlington, Virginia 22209
Telephone (703) 875-4357 * Fax
USTDA CAPACITY BUILDING GRANTS SUPPORT
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN –
(August 30, 2005) The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) reaffirmed
its support for Afghanistan’s reconstruction today with the award of three
capacity-building technical assistance grants. These include: a $564,748
grant to the Ministry of Commerce for technical assistance in establishing a
standards regime; a $571,458 grant to the Ministry of Housing and Urban
Development for technical assistance in establishing a building codes regime
in Afghanistan; and a $593,844 grant to Kabul University for a
training/mentoring program for Afghan consulting engineers.
U.S. Ambassador to
Afghanistan Ronald E. Neumann signed the agreements conferring the grants on
behalf of the U.S. Government. Minister of Commerce Hedayat Amin Arsala,
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Yusof Pashtun, and Chancellor of
Kabul University Ashraf Ghani, respectively, signed on behalf of the
Grantees. Mr. Daniel D. Stein, USTDA Europe and Eurasia Regional Director,
witnessed the signings.
“The common thread in these
three projects is their important role in building Afghanistan’s human
capacity, which will ultimately enable the country to sustain its economic
and political development,” commented USTDA Director Thelma J. Askey.
“While USTDA has supported many infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, and
will continue to do so in the future, we will increasingly look for ways to
assist that country in developing its human resources.”
The USTDA-funded assistance
provided by these grants will enable Afghanistan to develop a national
standards organization, to institute and enforce construction codes, and to
develop the expertise needed by Afghan engineers to play a larger role in
the country’s reconstruction program. Training of Afghan personnel is a key
part of each project.
The U.S. Trade and
Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial
interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds
various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training,
orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a
modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s
strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy
and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for
trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its
mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S.
exports of goods and services.