The Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed City Housing Complex in Afghanistan. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani inaugurated Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed City Housing Complex in Afghanistan on Sunday. The project has been funded by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).

Located in the Qasaba district of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, ADFD contributed an estimated Dh708 million to the social housing development project, said a press release issued by ADFD on Monday.

Aimed at increasing the supply of affordable accommodation options in the country, the crucial project encompasses 3,330 residential units. Including extensive infrastructure works such as roads, water, and electricity networks and support services, the project seeks to elevate living standards of its residents through its power stations that generate 22 megawatts of energy with minimal downtime.

Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, led the delegation that represented the Fund at the opening ceremony. Saif Al Shamsi, Charge d’affaires at the UAE Embassy in Afghanistan; Sadat Mansoor Nader, Afghan Minister of Urban Development and Housing; and several high-ranking Afghan officials attended the event.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, said: “We are witnessing the opening of an important and strategic project that supports the social housing sector in Afghanistan. In line with the directive of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support the Afghan government’s housing development goals, the construction was funded by the ADFD-managed Abu Dhabi government grant earmarked for Afghanistan. Not only will this crucial project provide adequate housing for thousands of Afghan citizens, it will also go a long way in bolstering the country’s social housing sector.”

Al Suwaidi praised the Afghan government’s decision to name the new residential city after Shaikh Khalifa. He also commended the cooperation of the Afghanistan in enabling the timely completion of the project.

He added that ADFD is committed to supporting the Afghan government in overcoming the challenges facing Afghanistan, reaching the country’s desired development goals, and achieving long-term prosperity.

Sadat Mansoor Nader praised the efforts of the UAE in implementing humanitarian and development programmes in Afghanistan, which help improve the quality of life of its people. He noted that the 53.8-hectare project will go a long way in driving stability and social security in the capital through providing adequate housing to suit the family lifestyle of thousands of Afghan families.

Since it first commenced supporting development projects in Afghanistan in 1977, ADFD has allocated Dh1.2 billion towards the development of 14 projects that contributed to the economic and social development of the country, most notably in sectors including housing, social services, health, education, transport and industry.

The Fund continued its growing synergies with the Afghan government over four decades, starting with the first ADFD-funded project in Afghanistan, the Baghlan Sugar Factory. The Fund also rehabilitated a network of major roads and bridges in Kabul, as well as the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport.