07 July 2020

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Saturday, May 9, 2020 Kabul (BNA) The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $400 million grant to help Afghanistan "sustain the pace of key economic and public finance reforms, and support the country to manage current risks and uncertainties compounded by the COVID-19 crisis," the bank said in a statement on Friday. "The Incentive Program Development Policy Grant comprises $160 million from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and $240 million from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), managed by the World Bank on behalf of 34 donors," said the World Bank. According to the statement, the Incentive Program Development Policy Grant will support a range of key reforms to improve business regulation and encourage private investment, expand social inclusion and support civil service reforms, increase resilience to natural disasters, improve tax administration and public financial management, and safeguard fiscal sustainability. “Today’s Board approval is a strong indication that the World Bank is redoubling its efforts to help Afghanistan and its people beyond the current COVID-19 crisis,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “This assistance will help Afghanistan maintain its reform momentum throughout a difficult period and provide vital financial support to the government to manage revenue shortfalls arising from coronavirus impacts,” said Kerali. Afghanistan faces major challenges and uncertainties in 2020. The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate negative impact on Afghanistan. Border closures have severely impacted government customs receipts, while measures to contain the spread of the virus are likely to have a strong negative impact on economic activity. Poverty remains deep and widespread, while security and political uncertainties continue, said the statement. Yarzada

Saturday May 02, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has signed a decree on sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, Trend reports with reference to State News Agency of Turkmenistan.
According to the president’s decree, The Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan and the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan should donate food products to Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan should ensure the dispatch and transfer of donating products to Afghanistan. The relevant ministries of Turkmenistan should help the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country to prepare the dispatch of products.
Turkmenistan and Afghanistan cooperate in trade and economic, fuel and energy, transport and communication spheres. The construction of Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI) pipeline, high-voltage power transmission line and fiber-optic communication along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route are some of the projects the countries collaborate on.
The countries also carry out transit and transport projects. One of them is Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transit and transport corridor that expends economic and trade ties between States of Central and South Asia and Europe.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Following coronavirus outbreak in Afghanistan, national revenues have started to get reduced. The ministry of finance says national incomes have reduced by 18 percent comparing to last year. Officials for the ministry of finance have considered reduction in imports, suspension in private sector and not paying taxes by traders as the main reasons in reduction of national incomes in the country. The ministry of finance has informed of reduction in national revenues at a time when World Bank pledged to provide assistance to Afghanistan to solve its economic problems. Previously, Afghanistan ministry of economy had said in consideration to recording first cases of COVID19 in the country, Afghanistan economy would face with the loss of 324 billion AFG and the number would increase with increasing number of positive cases for COVID 19 in the country. Based on information of the ministry of finance, national revenues have faced with 18 percent drop comparing to last year. “The ministry of finance has found that national revenues of the country has dropped by 18 percent comparing to last year and the issue has been shared with the commission of finance and budget of parliament,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesperson to the ministry of finance. He added that currently nearly 4,000 importing goods’ containers were stopped in Torkham port and a number of containers which have been imported to Afghanistan have not paid their taxes. According to the ministry of finance, the ministry has collected nearly 60 billion AFG incomes so far, showing considerable reduction in national revenues putting negative impact on the country’s economy. “Suspension of work of the country’s private sectors has resulted in reduction of national revenues,” Masjidi said, adding that the government’s service fees have been also stopped. Previously, acting minister of finance Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal in a meeting with members of parliament’s finance and budget commission had said that World Bank has pledged it would help Afghanistan towards solution of economic problems. Based on agreement between Afghanistan government and World Bank, it is determined that the bank will provide the money that has been spent from the national budget by Afghanistan government. Officials for the ministry of finance have said that they have been able to save 1.7 billion AFG in the budget during the period of quarantine and lockdown. Meanwhile, Afghan experts consider such reduction in the country’s national revenues as natural, but asking the government to hold a meeting to resolve the issue. The issue of reduction in national revenues has come amid of expansion of coronavirus outbreak in the country as Afghanistan government has allocated a large amount of money to fight coronavirus in the country. Based on information of the ministry of economy, Afghanistan economy will face with 324 billion AFG loss following expansion of coronavirus in the country. it is said that the situation can directly put negative impact on works of Afghans and both private and government sectors in the country. Currently, nearly 40,000 manufacturing companies and 10,000 services companies have been suspended due to coronavirus outbreak and lockdown in the country. It is worth mentioning that coronavirus outbreak is the rise in Afghanistan as the number of positive cases for the COVID19 in the country has reached to 1828. The number of recovered cases in the country is 228, while 58 others have died. The number of deaths from the COVID-19 globally is more than 211,216, and more than 3 million have been infected with the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020 Kabul (BNA) The World Bank on Monday announced transferring US$20 million to Afghanistan for emergency response to COVID-19 pandemic, including contracting service providers in all 34 provinces. The bank in a statement said the amount was the first part of a US$100.4 million grant approved on April 2 for the Afghanistan COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project that became effective on April 12. In addition, the World Bank said it made available up to US$40 million as retroactive funding to reimburse the government for eligible expenditures for health services related to COVID-19 pandemic. “These costs can be reimbursed by the World Bank as soon as the Government provides the list of eligible services and related expenditures.” The Afghanistan COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project was designed in close coordination with the Government, including the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Health. Besides the financial assistance, the World Bank together with UNICEF, WHO and other Development Partners will continue providing technical assistance and supply of equipment for the successful implementation of the project as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. The rapid deployment of the project by the Ministry of Public Health and other relevant government entities will help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The World Bank said it was committed to working closely with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Finance to protect the people of Afghanistan during these difficult times. Yarzada
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