The World Bank has approved a grant worth $526.5 million (£316.5m) for a project that will enable energy trade between Central Asia and South Asia.
The funding will help finance the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) for four countries – Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
The CASA-1000 project will build more than 1,200 kilometres of electricity transmission lines and sub-stations to transmit excess hydropower energy from existing power stations in Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The World Bank will also provide country-specific community support programmes.
Sri Mulyani Indrawati, World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer said: “These four countries are demonstrating strong regional cooperation by addressing their energy challenges together. CASA-1000 is a transformational project that will give a much-needed boost to energy security, improved connectivity and trade across two regions at a critical time.”
Nearly 400 million people in South Asia still lack reliable access to electricity.