The Japanese embassy in Kabul on Monday said its government has decided to provide $1.5 million USD to help upgrade the Salang Corridor – Afghanistan’s main north- south road transport route.
The embassy said in a statement that “the relevant documents for the Preparatory Facility of Salang Tunnel Project have exchanged between Mr. Yasunari Morino, Charge d’affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan and Thomas Panella, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for Afghanistan”.
At present, the Salang Corridor is the only route that allows the year round north-south passages of good and people across the Hindu Kush Mountain. Given the lack of alternative routes, the vast majority of goods shipped to Kabul from the north traverse the Salang Corridor.
However, after more than 50 years of service the road has fallen into a state of deterioration.
“Considering the importance of rehabilitation of this corridor, which will provide safe and quick access for goods and people linking the south with the north, Japan and ADB decided to continue the Feasibility Study and Geotechnical Analysis, as well as detailed engineering study and procurement assistance,” read the statement.
It went on to state: “The Japanese contribution will be allocated to the feasibility study, such as geotechnical survey and preparation of technical designs, safeguard studies and economic analysis.”
“ADB will achieve the project preparation work in close cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”
Japan has assisted Afghanistan’s nation-building efforts in various fields including security, education, health, agriculture, culture, humanitarian aid and infrastructure and capacity development.