Afghanistan

Experts Discuss Afghanistan Groundwater Managements Needs

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The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) and the EU Delegation organized a one-day Open Dialogue on 14 August 2018 in Kabul to discuss multidimensional needs of groundwater management in Afghanistan. Groundwater Management is a part of AREU’s three-pronged research effort into essential areas of Natural Resources Management (NRM) funded by the European Union (EU).

Some high-ranking government officials, representatives of national and international organizations, the EU and United Nations agencies officials attended the event and actively participated in discussions.

The rationale behind this groundwater reader starts with acknowledging the importance of groundwater for Afghan livelihoods. It is also motivated by the realization that the development and protection of groundwater has received too little attention in Afghanistan, in part because it is not well understood.

The reader will contribute to developing a better understanding about groundwater and related processes, as well as clarifying the status of groundwater and its policy environment in Afghanistan. It will also generate discussions related to pertinent policies for the development and protection of groundwater in Afghanistan.

Dr. Orzala Nemat, AREU Director said: “This is a great opportunity to amplify the attention on NRM at national and international level.”

 “Because of the conflict, water and other natural resources were given little attention in the past. It’s now time to invest in prevention mechanisms and find a durable solution to periodical water shortage.” she added

 “I am delighted to participate in this conference just a week after the EU Serena Dialogue which discussed the issue of climate change in Afghanistan. At this critical time when climate change impacts access to water in Afghanistan, proper groundwater management is key to ensuring the preservation of this strategic asset. The EU is proud to contribute in improving the management of natural resources of Afghanistan through several projects including the research project implemented by AREU” said EU Ambassador, Pierre Mayaudon.

The overall objective of this document is to help policy makers, project managers, civil society leaders and other stakeholders to better understand the challenges, opportunities and possible path forward to develop and protect groundwater resources in Afghanistan. It is also hoped that the document cnan be used to promote the essential need to further develop in-depth technical studies (beyond only the Kabul sub-basin) in all basins of Afghanistan in order to plan timely measures.

AREU is an independent research institute based in Kabul that was established in 2002 by the assistance of the international community in Afghanistan. AREU achieves its mission by engaging with policy makers, civil society, researchers and academics to promote their use of AREU’s research-based publications and its library, strengthening their research capacity and creating opportunities for analysis, reflection and debate.

The EU funded three-pronged research project launched on December 2016 aims to contribute to improving the sustainability and increase the wealth of rural papulation, by enhancing the social and economic development of rural communities and reducing hunger vulnerability. The project which has budget of EUR 2 million covers researches on Natural Resource Management, underground water and food zone policy in Afghanistan.

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Work on TAPI Project Is Not Delayed: Acting Minister of Mines

Addressing the Council of Ministers meeting on Monday, Acting Minister of Mines Nargis Nehan denied the rumors that work on the TAPI gas pipeline project has been delayed.

She reported on the progress of the project and assured that the work on the project was going at a normal pace.

She said the issues regarding land acquisition were resolved and work on the project has not been stopped.

She added that five projects related to TAPI were underway in Herat province. These projects include, demining, land acquisition, environmental protection and surveys.

Nehan also said that companies involved in the projects are directed to recruit women, repatriates and needy people from the surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, CEO Abdullah Abdullah expressed optimism about the project and asked the ministry of mines to know the price of gas provided to Afghanistan from the project.

Abul Hadi Hedayati, deputy head of the Telecommunication and Information Technology (CIT) informed the meeting about evaluation of CTI law and code of conduct.

The official also briefed the meeting regarding a digital CASA-1000 project and said the implementation of this would help cut the internet price down by half.

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High Economic Council Approves Two Mining Contracts

HEC meeting

The High Economic Council approved major contracts for exploration of two mines after a comprehensive review of the contracts during their meeting on Sunday.

The approved contracts are for the Badakhshan gold mine and Balkhab copper mine.

Ajmal Ahmadi, senior presidential advisor on financial and banking affairs, said the contracts were awarded to CENTAR after review of the firm’s eligibility by the intra-ministerial committee, which consists of minister of mines and petroleum, minister of economy and the minister of finance.

Ahmadi added that the firms are technically eligible and can arrange the required funds for the exploration of the two mines.

The contractor would provide financial guarantees upon signing of the contracts, said Ahmadi.

The meeting was held in Charchinar palace under the chairmanship of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

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Omani Private Sector Delegation in Kabul To Discuss Investment

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A private sector delegation from Oman is visiting Kabul to discuss investment in various sectors in Afghanistan.

Invited by Afghan companies, the delegation said they can invest in the precious stones processing, saffron cultivation and dry fruit sectors.

“The idea is to invest in precious stones, especially in processing of emerald. Besides that, other parts, such as dry fruit, oil and gas are the sectors that are profitable in Afghanistan if we work on them,” said Nasir al-Bloshi, an Omani investor. “We are interested in those sectors if opportunities are provided.”

Another Omani investor said Afghan saffron has a good market in Oman and it will be highly profitable if Oman invested in the saffron cultivation sector in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Afghan private sector called on the government to provide the groundwork for these investors in the country.

 

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India, Afghanistan Highlight Importance of Chabahar Port

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Officials from India and Afghanistan discussed several ongoing development projects during the second meeting of India-Afghanistan Joint Working Group on Development Cooperation (JWG-DC) in Kabul on Thursday.

The JWG-DC is one of the four Joint Working Groups formed under the India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council.

Headed by the External Affairs Minister of India and the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, the Council is mandated for the overall management of the strategic relationship between India and Afghanistan.

The two sides discussed several ongoing development projects on capacity building, infrastructure, education, healthcare, good governance and human resource development.

The officials highlighted the importance of Chabahar port for strengthening trade and economic relations and expressed satisfaction over the largescale deliveries made from India to Afghanistan via Chabahar.

Encouraged by the high level of cooperation in the field of development assistance and deep mutual trust between the two sides, it was decided to take up several small, medium and largescale projects for implementation in the near future, the statement said.

The statement said the projects mainly include Shahtoot Dam, low-cost housing for the returning refugees in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, polyclinic in Mazar-e-Sharif, construction of a road connecting Band-e-Amir in Bamiyan province to the Bamiyan-Yakawlang Highway and many others.

According to the statement, the Afghan side assured their cooperation in ensuring the security of the Indian personnel.

“It was agreed that these projects will be examined and considered for implementation, based on the priorities of the people and the government of Afghanistan,” the statement said.

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40% Surge In Herat Land Transport Revenue

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The Transport Department of western Herat province has recorded a 40% increase in revenue from land transport this year.

The officials have linked the hike in revenue to anti-corruption efforts and recruitment of professional employees.

According to Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), the department has generated 61 million Afghanis in revenue from the land transport during the past two months compared to 44 million Afghanis during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, governor’s spokesperson Jelani Farhad said a campaign against corruption was ongoing and added that reforms in the transport department have resulted in transparency and more revenue.

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WB Reassures Continued Support to Afghanistan

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World Bank’s newly appointed Vice President for the South Asia region, Hartwig Schafer, visited Afghanistan, discussed reforms and development progress in the country, and reassured World Bank’s continued support to the people of Afghanistan.

Schafer was appointed as the World Bank Vice President for South Asia on July 01, 2018. The region includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. 

Afghanistan is the first country in the region Hart has visited in his new role.

During his three-day stay in Kabul, he met with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, acting Finance Minister Mohammad Hamayoun Qayoumi and other government officials. He also held discussions about Afghanistan development challenges and opportunities with representatives from non-governmental organizations, women community, private sector, and international partners.

“I am delighted to visit Afghanistan and see firsthand how the World Bank is helping the government serve Afghan people in areas such as health, education, citizen empowerment, agriculture, water supply and sanitation, and institutional reforms,” said Schafer. “Despite prevailing security challenges compounded by capacity constraints, the progress across all sectors is encouraging and we commend the government for implementing key policy reforms.”

During his interactions with the Afghan leadership and local and international partners, Schafer reassured them of the World Bank Group’s continued support for Afghanistan , including by working to leverage donors’ resources through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) to finance investments and knowledge services that help stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and ensure delivery of services across the country.

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Improving Infrastructure in Afghanistan: Rehabilitated Road Will Benefit more than 72,000 Citizens in Balkh

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The ground-breaking ceremony for the reconstruction of a road connecting the towns Sajadia and Amiri took place in Mazar-e Sharif, Balkh was held in the past weekend. The road is almost four kilometres long and is located in the Nahr-e Shari district.

More than 72,000 citizens will benefit from improved traffic conditions. Balkh’s Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development implements the project and monitors construction works. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) finances the activity at a total cost of about AFN 110 million.

Balkh’s governor, Mohammad Ishaq Rahguzar, appreciated the project and said: “Balkh’s government and citizens have been working on infrastructure projects for years. We are very happy to witness the realisation of another project in our province.”

Currently, the road connecting Sajadia and Amiri is in poor condition. It is extremely dusty, polluting the area when traffic passes. In addition, the road’s drainage system is insufficient, hindering traffic and causing inconveniences for locals during rainy season. About 3,000 vehicles use the road daily.

The consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Karsten Geier, expressed his gratitude to the attendees and commented: “It is my pleasure to be here today and participate in the ground-breaking ceremony of a project that brings people together.” He added: “It is a good thing that the project will be implemented by local engineers and workers.”

The road’s rehabilitation will improve traffic conditions in the towns Kart-e Wahdat, Sajadia, Amiri and neighbouring areas. Access to markets, schools, businesses and health care facilities will improve, stimulating economic activity in the region. Citizens will further benefit from a cleaner environment as well as reduced vehicle maintenance costs and noise pollution. The road will be safer and more comfortable to use. Reconstruction works are estimated to last for 21 months and will create job opportunities for many locals throughout the process.

During the project’s implementation, RIDF will offer on-the-job training, coaching and mentoring sessions for engineers and managers working at Balkh Province’s Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. These activities aim at improving the department’s capacities for designing, constructing and maintaining urban roads independently in the future.

The Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is being implemented by KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The program aims at improving economic and social infrastructure in Northern Afghanistan while enabling provincial administrations to plan and implement development programs independently. In the past seven years the program has funded and constructed or rehabilitated more than 160 kilometres of roads, 50 kilometres of irrigation canals and 11 protection dams against flooding or erosion in the provinces of Balkh, Kunduz, Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan. At the same time, the program has organized about 900 job-specific on-the-job trainings, coaching and seminars for more than 3,000 engineers and governmental employees facilitating the independent realisation of future infrastructure projects.  In Samangan, RIDF is currently implementing two school rehabilitation projects.

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World Bank, Afghanistan Sign $350mn Package to Support Government Reforms

aid package

The Afghan Ministry of Finance and World Bank signed a new package of grant agreements valued at USD 350mn to improve efficiency and effectiveness in government operations for better revenue mobilization and service delivery.

The agreement was signed between Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, Afghanistan’s acting Minister of Finance, and Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan on Monday in the presence of Hartwig Schafer, a new appointed World Bank Vice President for South Asia.

“This new World Bank support is fully aligned with the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework, which will strengthen the policy framework to support state effectiveness, private sector investment, growth, poverty reduction, and improve public financial management ,” said Qayoumi at the signing ceremony.

The package consists of:

  •          $300 million for the Incentive Program Development Policy Grant (IP-DPG), including $90 million from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and $210 million from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), administered by the World Bank on behalf of 34 donors. The IP-DPG aims to help the Government of Afghanistan continue maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment and pursue an ambitious program of policy reforms to support economic growth, private sector investment, poverty reduction, and improved public financial management.
  •          $50 million for the Public-Private Partnerships and Public Investment Advisory Project, which aims to develop a pipeline of feasible private and publicly funded projects to further develop Afghanistan’s infrastructure. The project will be financed by a $20 million grant from IDA and $30 million co-financing from ARTF.

According to a statement from the World Bank, the new financing package supports reforms in the business environment, the energy sector, and land administration to promote economic growth and employment and reduce poverty for all Afghans.

Schafer, who is currently visiting Afghanistan to discuss reforms and development progress in the country with the Afghan government and its international partners, spoke about Public-Private Partnerships and Public Investment Advisory Project.

“This is a step towards maximizing the financing available for Afghanistan’s development. By mobilizing private capital for large investments, this project can boost progress towards some of Afghanistan’s key development priorities. It is a way to create partnerships that can benefit not only the Government and private sector businesses, but most importantly the people of Afghanistan.”

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UK Contributes £10mn To Assist Drought Victims in Afghanistan

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The World Food Program (WFP) received £10 million ($13.1 million) from the Government of the United Kingdom to provide vital food assistance for people affected by drought in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is currently facing a severe drought that has affected 20 out of the country’s 34 provinces. UK funding will ensure that immediate food assistance reaches families in need in five of the worst-hit provinces.

“The UK continues to stand by the government of Afghanistan and we have taken decisive action to step in early before the worst of the drought strikes to help prevent needless pain and suffering,” said Penny Mordaunt, UK International Development Secretary. “We call on other countries to join this international effort to support some of the world’s most vulnerable people during what will be immensely difficult times.”

WFP has been supporting the most vulnerable families in affected areas since the first signs of the impact of the drought emerged in late 2017. Now that larger numbers of people are starting to require urgent assistance, WFP is ramping up its response in August and September in the five worst-affected provinces: Badghis, Ghor, Herat, Faryab and Jawzjan.

“Needs are peaking earlier than expected in five of the twenty drought-affected provinces. To help communities and reduce migration to cities, WFP is providing immediate food assistance to 441,000 people over two months,” said Zlatan Milisic, WFP’s Country Director in Afghanistan. “This generous contribution from the UK will enable WFP to quickly assist hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people, including women and children”.

By October, WFP plans to expand its response to reach 1.4 million people in the twenty affected provinces and support women, men, girls and boys through the critical period to next year’s harvest. UK funding will also contribute to this assistance.

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Marble Factories Shutting Down in Afghanistan

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Marble factory owners are stopping operations as many of them are incurring losses due to lack of raw materials.

According to the Marble Stone Association, there are 13 marble processing factories in Kabul, but none of them are operational due to lack of raw material.

The Association slammed the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) for its inability to support the marble sector.

“The Ministry of Mines does not have a policy in place in the last three years. It is all words but no action,” said Sarajuddin Kamali, the head of the association.

Meanwhile, the MoMP said they plan to  award contracts for marble extraction to 10 companies. Their plan will  go through the High Economic Council first, and then put out to tender after it is approved.

Once contracts are signed, companies will start extracting the marble to provide raw material for the processing factories.

There are over 150 marble factories in the country, with an investment total of USD 50mn in marble processing facilities.

According to the Marble Stone Association, only four marble extraction projects are active in the country and can only meet the raw material requirements for four processing factories.

The Association warned the government that the factories will shut down if their issue is not resolved.

 

 

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Applications Now Open for Frontier Incubators – Scaling Impact in the Asia-Pacific

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Frontier Incubators is a program from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange, focused on supporting incubators and accelerators in the Asia-Pacific region by building their capabilities through partnerships with global leaders in the field.

Applications are now open for enterprise support organizations including incubators and accelerators who would like to strengthen the services they office and strengthen their program.

Frontier Incubators aims to increase the impact and investment potential of enterprises that incubators and accelerators support in the region through capacity building.

The initiative develops mentoring relationships between emerging business incubators and accelerators, and global leaders in the field. This mentoring builds the capacity of incubators and accelerators in the Asia-Pacific region, and strengthens the quality of support for entrepreneurs to scale their impact.

Selected participants will experience training for their organization, designed and delivered by global leaders in incubation and acceleration; access to a community of expert mentors and advisors; and opportunities to work with investors, to build networks, and to participate in other Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade programs.

Find our more and apply at www.frontierincubators.org before 31 July 2018.

Frontier Incubators is part of the Scaling Frontier Innovation initiative that aims to help bridge the gap in development financing, grow the ecosystem that supports private investment in social innovation and social enterprises, and create opportunities for private sector capital to be invested in ways that contribute to sustainable development outcomes.

Program Timeline:

Applications Close 31 July 2018

Announcement of Program Participants 31 October 2018

Frontier Incubators Accelerator Workshops November 2018-June 2019

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Turkmenistan Commissions New Power Transmission Line to Afghanistan

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An additional 110kV power transmission line from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan was inaugurated on Friday.

The Rabat-Kashan-Qalai-Nau power transmission line will help boost electricity supplies to different provinces of Afghanistan.

The new transmission line will become the first to deliver additional volumes of electricity along the along the Kerki–Hamyap–Garkyn, Marchak (Turkmenistan)–Marchak (Afghanistan) and Rabat-Kashan–Kalay-Nau routes.

In his address to the participants of the opening ceremony, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said the new transmission line was based on principles of friendship, brotherhood and good-neighborliness between the two nations.

Turkmenistan sells electricity to Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey and is currently studying the prospects to deliver its electricity to the markets of the Caucasus, as well as Central and South Asia.

Currently, there are 13 power plants in Turkmenistan.  Six new power plants have been built in the last five years alone.

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New Substation in Badghis to Benefit 7000 families

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President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has arrived in  Badghis province to inaugurate a new substation. 

The Qala Naw substation  will benefit around 7,000 families in the province. 

President Ghani will also meet with the civilian and military officials of Badghis province, according to a statement from the presidential palace. 

He will have separate meetings with the tribal elders, religious clerics, teachers, youths, civil society activists, women, district administrative chiefs, and members of the provincial council.

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$15.5 Billion Wasted in Afghanistan in Past 11 Years

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The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan (SIGAR) has released its first estimate of the total amount of money wasted in Afghanistan in response to a request from three congressmen. 

The figure is a staggering $15.5 billion, but SIGAR says this could be half of the amount wasted in the country .

“In response to your request, we calculated the total dollar amount of waste, fraud, and abuse, we have uncovered through our work since SIGAR’s inception in 2008 through December 31, 2017. To do this, we reviewed 766 SIGAR products and investigations completed during the period.

In sum, SIGAR has identified up to $15.5 billion in waste, fraud, and abuse, and failed whole-of-government reconstruction efforts (or 29 percent of the $52.7 billion we examined)”, states the letter from SIGAR to the congressmen. 

SIGAR noted that more than $4 billion dollars intended for “stabilization programs” in Afghanistan instead led to “exacerbated conflicts, enabled corruption and bolstered support for insurgents”.

And the $7.3 billion spent to curb opium production and trade has done very little, according to SIGAR, which notes that opium production is now “at the highest levels since 2002.”

SIGAR’s reports on the US reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan have time and again concluded that US government agencies spent far too much money, far too quickly, in a country woefully unprepared to absorb it.

Their pouring of money created opportunities for corruption and made  many of those projects far more harmful than helpful. 

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Donors Pledge Additional $57mn To Afghanistan’s Elections Budget

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A new agreement was signed to enable enhanced contributions to Afghanistan’s electoral budget  at the third project board meeting of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. 

Donors pledged to fund an additional US$57 million to the elections budget, in addition to pledging ongoing assistance to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC).

“This new agreement will allow the organization of elections to move forward to implementation,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “The United Nations has pledged the international community’s support as a partner throughout Afghanistan’s electoral preparations.”

According to preliminary data, more than 8.9 million Afghans, including more than three million women, have registered to vote in this year’s parliamentary and district council elections, and for the 2019 presidential elections.

“While we continue to support the progress made so far, we are following developments closely, including the work to complete the central database of registered voters and the final list of candidates, both of which are necessary for holding credible elections,” said Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Under Resolution 2405 (2018), the Security Council requested UNAMA to support Afghan authorities in the organization of elections, and to strengthen the integrity, sustainability and inclusiveness of the electoral process. UNAMA remains committed to working with Afghan institutions as they implement reforms to enhance transparency and build trust in Afghanistan’s democratic processes, including by promoting the participation of women as voters and as candidates.

“We look forward to the thorough verification of registered voters and the willingness on the part of everybody involved to address any irregularities if and when they occur,” said Yamamoto. “The IEC and the ECC have demonstrated that they can respond to constructive criticism but they need the support of all stakeholders.”

Stressing progress by the IEC in reaching out to political actors, Yamamoto called for political actors to play a responsible role to make elections inclusive and credible. “All Afghans have a stake in successful elections, and it is therefore crucial for all Afghans to exercise their civic duty and participate in Afghanistan’s democratic processes,” he said.

The third Project Board meeting follows the first and second meetings on 4 October 2017 and 30 December 2017, respectively, where UNAMA, along with the IEC and the ECC, signed project documents providing the legal and financial framework allowing the UN and donors to continue to support and strengthen Afghanistan’s electoral institutions and operations.

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Work On Shahtoot Dam To Start Next Month

shahtoot dam

India is assisting Afghanistan in building another dam, the Shahtoot Dam, which is estimated to cost USD 236 million.

Work on the project is expected to start in August and will be completed in three years.

The dam will be built on the Kabul river basin, one of the five river basins in Afghanistan.

The feasibility study of this project cost USD 1.86mn and was completed in 2012.

The proposed dam will provide potable water to more than 2 million residents in Kabul and pave ground for irrigation of 4,000 hectares of land in the districts of Charasiab and Khairabad.

The project will skew the flow of Kabul River into Pakistan, possibly causing a water crisis in Pakistan.

Pakistan is worried about the reconstruction efforts of India in Afghanistan as they fear that Pakistan or India may break the Water Treaty and cut off all water supplies to Pakistan during  a possible conflict.

Previously, India built Salma Dam in western province of Herat at a cost of around USD 300mn.

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Afghan Traders Sign US$68 Million Worth of Deals during Trade Mission

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Afghan traders signed US$68 million worth of deals for high-value agricultural products, such as pomegranates, saffron, apples, apricots, melons, grapes, nuts, and cherries, as a result of their participation at a recent trade mission in New Delhi.

The USAID Commercial Horticultural Agricultural Marketing Program (CHAMP), implemented by Roots of Peace, facilitated the trade event titled “Made in Afghanistan: Nature’s Best” on July 13-14. A total of 49 Afghan exporters exhibited and over 800 Indian buyers had the opportunity to learn about Afghanistan’s modern agricultural practices and products.

The event capitalized on the growing economic cooperation between Afghanistan and India. Last year, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani provided air cargo incentives that led to the first direct air shipments of Afghan produce to New Delhi and Mumbai.

Ajmal Ahmadi, Economic Advisor to President Ghani stated that the air corridor connection has so far resulted in 100 air cargo flights from Afghanistan to New Delhi and Mumbai.  “We are planning to add more Indian cities such as Chennai and Hyderabad because we consider India as our largest market for agricultural and craft products,” said Mr. Ahmadi.

“Our trade volume has increased tremendously in the last few years,” said Afghan Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali.  “The trade volume between India and Afghanistan has reached almost $1 billion. But the demand is much more so we are looking for $2 billion in trade by 2020,” Abdali said during the trade mission.

The “Made in Afghanistan: Nature’s Best” trade event is a follow-up to the USAID-supported “Passage to Prosperity” trade show that was held last September in New Delhi, where Afghan agricultural exporters made US$30 million in sales.  It also prepared Afghan exporters for the upcoming USAID-supported second-annual “Passage to Prosperity” Trade and Investment Show which will take place in Mumbai from September 12-15.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) also supported the “Made in Afghanistan: Nature’s Best” event. Other USAID programs contributing to the event included the Regional Agricultural Development Projects East and North and Promoting Value Chains – West program, implemented by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

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NPC Approves Contract for Reconstruction of Kabul-Ghazni Highway

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The National Procurement Commission (NPC) reviewed 20 contracts worth 1.3 billion Afghani in its latest session and approved 14 of the contracts.

The contracts are worth 628.6 million Afghanis and include the following:

  1. Reconstruction and repair of 34km of the Kabul-Ghazni highway
  2. Procurement of medicines and reform packages for the Ministry of Higher Education and medical facilities for the Ministry of Public Health
  3. Procurement of 127 uniforms for the Ministry of Defense
  4. Construction of complex in Khost province

The meeting, chaired by President Ashraf Ghani, was held on Sunday evening in ARG Palace. Among the attendees were members of parliament’s anti-corruption commission, Resolute Support Mission representative and members of other monitoring groups.

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New Turbines Activated At Salma Dam To Address Power Shortage in Herat

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The Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water will activate two 28-MW turbines at the Salma hydropower dam to address the electricity shortage problem in western Herat province. 

The decision was made between the ministry and Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat  (DABS). 

This comes as the water storage at Salma dam has reduced last year’s 450 million cubic meters to 224 million cubic meters this year.

Addressing the press conference on Saturday,  Hassan Fazali, director of the sub Harirod-Marghab rival zonal, said currently 120 million cubic water of the 224 million cubic water was unusable. 

The government of Afghanistan declared a drought in mid-April and requested the international community’s support. As many as 20 provinces are affected by drought. 

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