24 June 2017

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Monday, April 24, 2017
Kabul (BNA)  At least 28 militants of the ISIL militant group were killed during the ongoing Hamza counter-terrorism operations in Nangarhar.
Local government officials in Nangarhar confirmed that the operations were conducted in Achin and Haska Mina districts the other day.
The officials added that the militants suffered heavy casualties during the airstrikes conducted in the two districts.
An airstrike initially targeted a key compound of the terror group located in Arghach area of Haska Mina district leaving at least 9 militants dead, the officials said, adding that the second strike left at least 19 militants dead after they were targeted in a similar airstrike in Mamand Dara area of Achin.

Kabul (BNA)  At least ten militants, including five members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, were killed in a series of airstrikes in southern Zabul province. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in a statement said that five al-Qaeda members and five Taliban insurgents, including a local commander of the group identified as Mullah Noor Agha, were among those killed in the airstrikes carried out in the past 24 hours in Shahjoi district. A vehicle and five motorcycles belonging to the insurgents were also destroyed during the airstrikes.

Monday, April 24, 2017
Kabul (BNA)  The Government of Japan decided to provide JPY 400 million (equivalent to over $3.6 million) for the Economic and Social Development Program in Afghanistan, Japanese embassy said in a statement on Sunday.
According to the statement, the exchange of note for this program signed yesterday between Mitsuji Suzuka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Afghanistan and Mr. Hekmat Kahlil Karzai, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
This contribution from the Government of Japan will enable the Government of Afghanistan to purchase the necessary items, such as fuels and other materials in order to enhance the economic and social development process in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on regular bases. These items will be sold by the Government of Afghanistan at the satisfactory price to the domestic market, the statement added.
This unique scheme requests the Government of Afghanistan to save a certain portion of the revenue in “Counterpart Fund Account” and it will utilized for development projects under the close consultation with the Embassy of Japan in Afghanistan.
In this occasion, Hekmat Kahlil Karzai thanked and appreciated the generous support of Japan to the Government and the people of Afghanistan and said:
Japan has provided support to Afghanistan in the sector of Police Reform, Counter Narcotics, Education, police training, DDR, Demining, assistance to refugees and internal displaced people, social development, vocational training, agriculture, rural development, protection and maintenance of ancient heritage of Bamyan province are the other important sectors that Japan has contributed through UNESCO with the cooperation of Tokyo National Research and Cultural Institute.
Mitsuji Suzuka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Afghanistan said: “As friend of Afghanistan, we hope sincerely for the self- reliance and development of Afghanistan. It is important that we continue keeping a friendly relationship. We hope this Program is appropriately used effectively through human resources development, humanitarian assistance, infrastructure and technical cooperation for economic aid and further development in Afghanistan.”
Japan has been assisting Afghanistan’s nation- building efforts in various fields ranging from security to economic and social development sectors including, health, agriculture, infrastructure, rural development and human capacity development. The cumulative Japanese assistance to Afghanistan since 2001 amounts to $6.4 billion.

Monday, April 24, 2017
Kabul (BNA)  On the sidelines of World Bank Group/ IMF spring meeting 2017 in Washington D.C, Eklil Hakimi, Minister of Finance had a meeting with Annette Dixon, the World Bank South Asia region Vice President and discussed civil service reform and institutional assessment to improve service delivery, PPP projects preparation and implementation in Afghanistan, energy projects such as solar power projects, reintegration of refugees and returnees and World Bank support to improving project design and implementation.
He also sought the VP’s support in making a case for greater grants to Afghanistan from IDA-18 given Afghanistan’s fragile and conflict affected context.
In another meeting with the World Bank’s Vice President Growth, Minister Hakimi discussed the importance of conditioned aid to drive not only reforms, but also to provide the government with discretionary financing for crucial development priorities. He welcomed VP’s upcoming visit to Afghanistan to engage with the government and other development partners on institutional reforms and effective aid delivery mechanisms.
Minister Hakimi also had a separate meeting with Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency’s (MIGA) Chief Operating Officer and discussed investment guarantee to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in Afghanistan. He stressed on the importance of educating stakeholders on how MIGA guarantees work and invited them to Kabul and engages with not only government but also the private sector on MIGA guarantees.

Monday, April 24, 2017
Kabul (BNA)  World Immunization Week launched yesterday in Afghanistan by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), WHO and UNICEF, together with national and international partners supporting immunization services in the country, MoPH said in a statement.
According to the statement, the yearly Immunization Week campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination and ensure that people take action to receive all required life-saving vaccines.
Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions preventing illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza, pneumonia, tetanus and measles, the statement added.
“Immunization is the right of every child. We must accelerate our efforts to ensure all children all over the country are vaccinated and protected from diseases. Strengthening Afghanistan’s routine immunization system is among our top priorities. Through immunization we can protect children from traditional vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and also pneumonia, a major killer of children under 5 years of age,” said Dr Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health.
Afghanistan’s overall immunization coverage remains low with disparities throughout the regions. Vaccination can avert more than one third of under-five deaths but based on estimated routine immunization coverage, around 1 in 6 children still lack access to vaccines. Afghanistan’s under-five mortality rate remains among the highest in the world at 55 per 1,000 live births.
“Vaccines work to fight diseases, to protect individuals and communities and to save lives. We must make sure that routine immunization services reach all Afghans, no matter where they live, and that caregivers vaccinate their children during all house-to-house immunization campaigns,” said Dr Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Country Representative. “We need to significantly step up our efforts to achieve universal access to immunization in order to improve child health and drive sustainable development in Afghanistan.”
“Immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions that saves children’s lives and contributes to building a better future for Afghanistan,” said Ms Adele Khodr, UNICEF Country Representative. “We must reach all children with quality vaccines and intensify our efforts to reach the unreached children who are in greatest need and most vulnerable.”
Mortality due to vaccine-preventable diseases has decreased in the past decade due to the Government’s immunization efforts supported by local and international partners. In the past year, the number of health centers providing immunization services increased by 12 per cent, now including 1,767 facilities around the country. Currently 10 antigens are included in Afghanistan’s routine immunization program, available free of charge. In recent years, Afghanistan has successfully introduced new vaccines, including the Pentavalent vaccine protecting people from five deadly diseases and the Pneumococcal vaccine to fight pneumonia.
Afghanistan has seen major progress in efforts to eradicate polio in recent years and most of the country remains polio-free. In 2016, 13 polio cases were reported, compared to 20 in 2015. Three polio cases have been reported so far in 2017 from Kandahar, Helmand and Kunduz provinces.

Monday, April 24, 2017
Kabul (BNA)  The Golden Reed Academy and the Book City (Shahr-e-Ketab) jointly celebrated the book day and honored a number of writers and poets during a ceremony held in Kabul yesterday, BNA reported.
According to the agency, in the ceremony which was attended by a number of government officials, writers, poets and culturists, the presidential cultural advisor Asadullah Ghazanfar pointed to importance of book reading culture, adding meritocracy, literature rules and values should be considered in works of those being honored.
Meanwhile Acting Minister of Information and Culture said holding of such ceremonies to further persuade people for reading books. He said the ministry had the same plan to commemorate the day and appreciate the works of poets and writers. Addressing the ceremony, Najib Manali cultural advisor to National Security Council said this year’s book day was being celebrated after Jalal Noorani, one of the country’s elite writer, who has left several irony works. He said the golden reed academy was appreciating the works of writers and poets after detailed assessments by the judges.
The ceremony continued with remarks from the poets and writers talking on their works and stories.

Monday, April 24, 2017
Kabul (BNA)President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday night held a videoconference with senior officials of 34 provinces, during which he discussed the country’s security situation particularly the Friday attack, his office said in a statement.
According to the statement, the president also discussed Friday’s attack on Shaheen 209 Corps in Balkh which has reportedly claimed more than 130 lives and injured dozens.
President Ghani said investigations into the deadly incident has started and that the deputy minister of defense, the deputy head of the national directorate for security and the chief of army staff are at the scene in order to carry on the probe, the statement added.
He added that measures have been taken to shift the bodies of martyred soldiers to their families, the statement continued.
“We should realize that the type of Afghanistan’s war has changed. After failing on the battlefields, the enemies are targeting civilians, mosques, religious scholars, women, youths and children,” the president said during the video conference.
The president said that Afghanistan’s war was not an internal war, adding we were on the frontline of an international war and fighting international terrorism, the statement added.
He stated that “today there is a need for a public besiege and all should raise their voices against crimes by terrorists, because this is a common pain for all the people”.
“Our determination in fighting terrorism and against the enemies of Afghanistan will not change,” the president said.
According to the statement, defense and interior ministers, the NDS chief, ministers of education, higher education, hajj and religious affairs, deputy minister of information and culture and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

Kabul (BNA) Attended by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, a praying ceremony held at Arg mosque on Sunday to pay tribute for dozens of soldiers who were martyred and wounded after a Taliban’s deadly attack on Shaheen 209 military corps, the President Press Office said in a statement.
The ceremony was also attended by First Lady Rula Ghani, Second Vice President, Mohammad Sarwar Danish, former president Hamid Karzai, National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Second Deputy to CE Mohammad Mohaqiq, Wolesi Jirga Chairman Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi and some national assembly members, a number of cabinet ministers, head of Ulama council Mawlavi Qiamuddin Kashaf, presidential advisors and some other high-ranking government officials, the statement further said.
During the ceremony, head of Ulama council, Mowlavi Qiamuddin Kashaf said unfortunately we have faced with merciless enemies whom have never respected Islamic teachings and humanitarian norms, the statement added.
He added the terrorists have always targeted religious madrassas and schools and claimed the lives of innocent people, the statement continued.  It is merit to mention that the presidential office in a statement said that flags across the country would be flown at half-mast on April 23 as a mark of respect to the wounded and martyred soldiers.

Kabul (BNA) national defense ministry reported from killing of 29 armed oppositions in clearing operations carried out by security forces.
Defense ministry press office said BNA, in the last 24 hours the defense and security forces conducting joint clearing operations aimed to annihilate armed insurgents in various parts of the country killed 29 armed oppositions including a local commander of Taliban and five Al-Qaeda members and wounded 13 others.
The operations were launched in outskirts of Nangarhar, Kapisa, Paktika, Ghazni, Kandahar, Urozgan, Zabul, Farah, Herat, Balkh, Faryab, Kunduz, Sar-e-Pul, Baghlan and Helmand provinces.

Sunday, April 23, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Based on Khan Mohammad Baz’ head of currency exchangers in Kabul, Shahzada market report the exchange rate of Afghani as a follow:
One Dollar                                           67/60 afgs                           
One Pound Sterling                              86 afgs                         
One Euro                                            72/20afgs                        
One Emirate’s Dirham                         18/35afgs                          
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees          634afgs                        
One Thousand Indian Rupees               1025 afgs             
One Thousand Iranian Rupees              17/80 afgs                       

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