25 May 2020

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Friday April 24, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Ashraf Ghani held a virtual meeting with the donor community including EU and resident ambassadors to Kabul and representatives of the international organizations and explained the government’s response plan on fighting Covid-19.
Having extended gratitude to the donor community and countries for helping with Afghanistan to combat Corona, the president articulated the fundamental objectives of the plan mainly dealing with consequences of the pandemic spread, ensuring food security, preventing negative impacts on the economy, maintaining regional cooperation particularly cooperation by Pakistan, India and Central Asian Countries through keeping their borders open to allow the flow of essential commodities and foodstuff to Afghanistan.
The president also elucidated five main societal expectations namely investing in a functioning healthcare system; human security; social protection for those at situational risk during the lockdown; public work programs that enhance assets of the poor or empower them to create new assets; and access to better, cheaper and more efficient infrastructure.
Terming education a fundamental priority at the current circumstances, the president said demand for reliable electric power and affordable internet are priorities for urban citizens while rural communities primarily demand land, electric power, water and sanitation.
He stressed that people expect the government to address their urgent requirements and be able to properly manage the relief stage of the pandemic spread to lead to recovery.
The president said, as articulated in the plan, the government proposes to its development partners to reprogram their existing commitments into relief, recovery and stimulus programs and to engage Afghanistan’s regional partners to shape regional response strategies for dealing with the effect of the corona virus.
President Ghani said, “We are working with a sense of urgency focusing on the changing context, restructuring decision-rights and redistributing resources, re-examining priorities and programs, and seeking to co-shape game-changing strategies and approaches with our development partners.”
President Ghani termed the presence of the donor community signifies their solidarity with the government and the people of Afghanistan, appreciating the financial assistances provided by the countries and organizations including the World Bank, ADB, WHO, WFP, EU, IMF, NATO as well as India, Asian countries for putting special measures in place to ensure flow of food materials to Afghanistan within the constraints required by corona virus spread.

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh presented the Covid-19 Response Plan which is grounded on a five-stage strategy to mitigate and minimize the risk and economic effects; adopt measures to contain and prevent the spread of the disease, expedite certain procurement processes, ensure better coordination of foreign aids, facilitate public awareness across the country and reach the stage of recovery and return to the normal status.
The first vice president also talked over the government’s consultative meetings with 34 provincial governors, 300 district chiefs, neighbourhood/guzar representatives, private sector, various segments of society including government officials in the capital and provinces and receiving their comments on the efforts to tackle with corona.
He said the purpose of the consultations were to receive comments of the multiple segments of society to enable us to identify the vulnerable group and the poor and address their needs.
The ambassadors announced support for the government of Afghanistan’s plans on fighting the corona pandemic and briefed their various plans mostly in terms of financial and technical assistance.
The president expressed hope that the Taliban agree to the government’s call for cease-fire, underlining if the Taliban underestimate the threat of corona, the consequence will be nothing, but a human tragedy.
The president said that the prisoner release process has been a step to reinforce the peace process and to serve as a measure for beginning direct talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. He added the government feels responsibility before the citizens living in the areas under the Taliban control and want to help them in this critical juncture.
He underscored that the cabinet delegated special authority to the Ministry of Public Health to make sure procurement processes are not delayed while ensuring the principles of accountability and transparency.
President Ashraf Ghani called for transparency and accountability in the performance of non-governmental organizations operating in Afghanistan and said the Afghan government of Afghanistan is committed to closely work with the international community and the World Bank to enhance coordination and share its activities with the international partners in a transparent fashion.

Friday April 24, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Ashraf Ghani presided over the National Security Council meeting at the Presidential Palace to review the general security situation in the country and issues pertaining to Afghanistan peace process on Wednesday.
According to BNA report, the council members extended discussions over a range of issues mainly capacity building, enhancing education and meeting the requirements of the Afghan Defense and Security forces as well as structural reforms and removing parallel offices.

Friday April 24, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Ashraf Ghani in a virtual farewell meeting with Nicholas Kay appreciated him for his efforts during his missions as the NATO Civilian Representative and formerly as the UK ambassador to Afghanistan the other day.
According to BNA report, Nicholas Kay expressed gratitude to the president and government of Afghanistan for their support that enabled a joint fight against challenges.
The outgoing representative praised President Ghani for having dealt with the multiple challenges particularly in security and economic fronts since taking office in 2014, referring to the progresses that the country has so far made.
He added that NATO would continue to support Afghanistan in various areas namely training and technical cooperation with Afghan forces as well as fighting the corona virus.
Sir Nicholas Kay said he is confident that the country will be able to overcome the challenges caused by corona outbreak, adding that the peace process and political issues will come to a successful end under the president’s competent leadership and partnership of Afghan politicians.
President Ashraf Ghani wished success for the outgoing NATO civilian representative and said Afghanistan is willing to enjoy close relationship with its neighbors and is keen to work together with them to address the shared challenges faced by Afghanistan and the regional countries, mainly the issue of food security.

Thursday April 23, 2020
JALALABAD CITY (BNA) At least eight civilians were injured following roadside mine blast in eastern Nangarhar province the night before last.
According to report, the mine exploded among people in Kazhi region, Khogyani district of the province.
Ataullah Khogyani spokesman of Nangarhar governor told BNA correspondent, eight civilians were injured following the blast.
Meanwhile, doctors in central hospital of Nangarhar said that the health conditions of six injured are not satisfactory.
No group or individual has taken responsibility of the incident so far, but local officials claimed that Taliban fighters are responsible for the mine planting.

Thursday April 23, 2020
ASADABAD CITY (BNA) Foodstuffs have been distributed to more than 1600 needy families in eastern Kunar province.
The foodstuffs have been provided by World Food Program that include flour, rice, cooking ghee and some other foodstuffs.
Press office of Kunar governor by releasing a statement said, due to COVID-19 economic damages to citizens of Kunar, the distribution process of foodstuffs will be increased in the province.
Thousand needy and poor families will receive foodstuffs in near future, the statement added.

Thursday April 23, 2020
GHAZNI CITY (BNA) More than six anti-government militias were killed during clashes with Afghan security forces in central Ghazni province.
Press office of 203 Thander army corps by releasing a statement reported BNA, Taliban fighters had plan to launch attack on Afghan security forces in Khashk region, Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, but Afghan security troops by defeating their plan succeeded to annihilate six rebels as well.
A vehicle and two motorcycles belonged to the insurgents have been destroyed during the conflicts too, the source added.

Thursday April 23, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Iranian Embassy in Kabul announced that it has resumed consular services and visa issuance since April 20.
An official in charge of the Iranian mission’s media affairs said decision has been made to issue visa for nationals of neighboring countries with special jobs like drivers, industrialists, businessmen and investors.
Visa for land transport will be issued just for truck drivers, he said, adding that businessmen, industrialists and investors will receive visa for flight.  
Iranian embassy reiterated that visa will be issued if COVID19 test is done and the passengers have valid health certificate from Afghan medical centers which are accepted by Iranian missions.
Iranian embassy had canceled visa issuance for Afghan citizens on February 24 aiming to prevent spread of coronavirus.

Thursday April 23, 2020
Kabul (BNA) India is readying separate rapid response teams for dispatching to friendly neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in spirit of its commitment to help them deal with the coronavirus pandemic, official sources said.
A 14-member rapid response team was sent to Maldives last month to help the island nation set up coronavirus testing laboratories and train local medical professionals to fight the pandemic.
Earlier this month, India sent a 15-member team, comprising healthcare personnel from the Army, to Kuwait as part of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Three weeks back, India gifted a 10 ton consignment of essential lifesaving medicines to Sri Lanka in view of the COVID-19 crisis.
India has assured all friendly neighboring countries of all possible assistance to help them fight the pandemic. New Delhi has also been playing a key role in pushing for a common framework in dealing with the crisis.
At a video conference on March 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for formulating a joint strategy to fight COVID-19 in the SAARC region and proposed an emergency fund with an initial offer of USD 10 million from India. It is understood that India has already made the contribution.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
All the SAARC member nations are reeling under adverse social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
India is also supplying anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries. A number of countries including the US, Mauritius, Seychelles have already received the drug.
Hydroxychloroquine has been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for the COVID-19 and it is being tested on more than 1,500 coronavirus patients in New York.
The demand for the drug has swelled rapidly after India decided to lift a ban on its export.
In the neighborhood, India is sending the drug to Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh Nepal, the Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, sources said.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020 09:08

Over 35 Armed Oppositions Perished in Herat

Wednesday April 22, 2020
HERAT CITY (BNA) As many as 36 anti-government militias were killed during clashes with Afghan security forces in western Herat province within the last 24 hours.
Abdul Ahad Walizada spokesman of police chief in Herat told BNA correspondent, the conflicts took place while Taliban fighters stormed on Afghan national police, local police and national army troops’ checkpoints in Kashak Kohna district of Herat province.
Thirty-six terrorists including Mullah Khan Aqa, Mullah Dawoud and Mullah Nazar Mohammad three top commanders of Taliban group were killed and 30 others were injured following the clashes, Walizada further added. 
Two Afghan national army personnel have martyred following the conflicts as well, Walizada concluded.

Wednesday April 22, 2020
MATOON CITY (BNA) Afghan national army succeeded to discover and neutralize eight round of different type of mines in eastern Khost province.
Eimal Momand acting in-charge of press office in 203 Thandar army corps told BNA correspondent, the mines have been discovered and confiscated by Afghan national army troops in Maidani region, Garbuz district of Khost province.

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