The Government of Tajikistan has approved a draft agreement between the Ministry of Transport of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Tajikistan on cooperation on construction of a new Tajik-Afghan bridge across the Panj River, reports Trend with reference to news.tj
The agreement provides for construction of the bridge across the Panj River that will consolidate permanent overland links between Tajikistan and Afghanistan in the Tajik southern Khatlon province.
The 180-meter bridge will connect the Kokul area in Khatlon’s Farkhor district and the Ai-Khanoum village in Takhar province, northern Afghanistan.
The project also provides construction of a 50 kilometer road from Vose district to Farkhor district.
The AKDN will implement the project with attraction of investments from partners. The European Union will finance the project through Germany’s KFW Development Bank and the Pakistan Afghanistan Tajikistan Regional Integration Program (PATRIP) Foundation
PATRIP Foundation seeks to promote integration and enhance cross-border cooperation and exchange between Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan and Tajikistan. The PATRIP Foundation aims to help stabilize the region by supporting its economic and social development, meeting challenges in the border regions with bi-national and multi-sectoral measures. The PATRIP Foundation was set up in November 2011 by the German state-owned KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan is ordered to coordinate with AKDN Tajikistan the date and venue for signing of the agreement.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s TOLONews reported in June last year that a joint socio-economic development project between the EU and the AKDN was launched in Kabul on June 24, 2018. Officials from the EU and the AKDN reportedly said on June 24 that they will spend over $16 million to promote border trade and expand economic ties along the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.
According to them, this will be part of the Supporting Cooperation and Opportunities for Regional Economic Development (SCORED) program. SCORED on both sides of the border will be funded by the European Union, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), and Germany’s KFW Development Bank.
To-date, five bridges across the Panj River connecting Tajikistan and Afghanistan have been built under support of the Aga Khan Development Network. They have improved commerce and traffic within Central Asia.
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