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Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 08, 2012
Ahead of Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai’s visit to India, the government is extending a goodwill gesture towards the war-torn nation. The Cabinet on Thursday is expected to approve a $100-mn ( Rs. 500 crore) aid to Afghanistan. The funds will help Afghanistan build 100 small development projects (SDP).

The projects will help local communities in that country, providing them livelihood and creating infrastructure and opportunities in fields such as health, education, agriculture and rural development.

Karzai, who arrives in Mumbai on Friday, will meet PM Manmohan Singh on November 14 in New Delhi. India is a major contributor to Afghanistan’s developmental projects.

The third aid tranche comes after an initial aid of $20 mn to the nation — a commitment made by Singh during his visit to Afghanistan in 2005. The fresh pledge of $100 mn was made during his May 2011 visit.