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ADB highlights importance of donor aid to roll out vaccine

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(Last Updated On: December 5, 2020)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the pandemic has put enormous pressure on Afghanistan’s fragile health care system and the economy.

In an exclusive interview with Ariana News Narendra Singru, the ADB’s Country Director for Afghanistan, and Çiğdem Akın, Senior Public Management Economist, South Asia Regional Department emphasized the importance of financial aid for Afghanistan from donor countries.

Narendra Singru stated that the ADB in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health is planning to help roll out the inoculation program once the Covid-19 vaccine is available in Afghanistan.

 “We will be having a high-level discussion with the government on having a comprehensive vaccination program in coordination with donor partners. It is important that the partners walk together to support the government in this particular vaccination program,” Singru stated.

“So we are working with the government especially with the Ministry of Public Health in preparing a comprehensive vaccination program.”

“Based on this particular plan and the cost that would be entailed in this particular program, ADB will work with the other development partners to support the government in form of a grant or technical assistance,“ he said.

Meanwhile, the ADB raised concerns over the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic stating that Afghanistan needs more assistance to tackle the problem.

The organization has announced a $100 million grant for Afghanistan, aimed at helping the Afghan government to respond to the pandemic and support health, social protection, and stabilization measures.

Çiğdem Akın stated: “We are very proud to announce the approval of the $100 million budget support grant for the government of Afghanistan which will help the government to implement its pandemic response measures.”

“Since the pandemic started in March the government of Afghanistan has launched some initiatives to increase the capacity of the health sector to provide social protection assistance for the poor and vulnerable groups as well as increased the macro-economic stabilization of the economy,” she added.

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Muttaqi calls on international community to recognize IEA government

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

Afghanistan’s Foreign acting Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi accused the international community on Friday (October 15) of “violating the rights of Afghan people” by not recognizing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government.

Speaking to Reuters on the second day of a two-day visit to Turkey’s capital of Ankara, Muttaqi said he discussed the recognition of the IEA’s government with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as well.

“The fact that all of them are recognized and the new Islamic government of Afghanistan is not recognized is an injustice and oppression of the Afghan people… Afghanistan wants positive relations with the world and the world must respond positively to this message,” he said.

Almost two months after the former Western-backed government collapsed and IEA forces swept into Kabul, the IEA administration has pushed to build relations with other countries to help stave off a catastrophic economic crisis.

But the IEA has so far refused to give ground on allowing girls to return to high school, one of the key demands of the international community after a decision last month that schools above the sixth grade would only reopen for boys.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday he had conveyed Turkey’s recommendations regarding the inclusion of women in the workforce and education of girls.
Meanwhile, Cavusoglu reiterated the importance of government inclusiveness for Afghanistan’s unity.

“We once again explained the importance of including people from all ethnic and religious groups, besides the Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan), in the administration. Especially in these difficult times, this is important in terms of establishing unity and solidarity within the country,” Cavusoglu said.

NATO member Turkey maintained its embassy in Kabul after Western countries withdrew following the fall of the U.S.-backed Afghan government and have urged those countries to increase engagement.

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Blast targets mosque in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

A large explosion ripped through a mosque in the southern Kandahar province on Friday afternoon.

The blast happened at the Shi’ite Fatimiya mosque during Friday prayers, causing heavy casualties.

Sources said at least 34 people were killed and 69 others wounded in the explosion. Afghan officials have not confirmed the casualties so far.

Qari Saeed Khosti, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, has told Reuters that authorities were collecting details of the explosion.

The blast took place days after a suicide bomb attack claimed by Islamic State on a Shi’ite mosque in the northern city of Kunduz that killed and wounded more than 200 people.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The blast, coming so soon after the Kunduz attack underlined the increasingly uncertain security in Afghanistan as the Islamic State has stepped up operations following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan victory over the Western-backed government in Kabul in August.

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Turkey underlines need for inclusive Afghan government

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

In talks with the delegation of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Turkey on Thursday reiterated the importance of government inclusiveness for Afghanistan’s unity, Reuters reported.

Turkey repeated its advice to the visiting IEA delegation on girls’ education and women’s employment in business life, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference following a meeting with Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Ankara.

Muttaqi led an IEA delegation for an official visit to Turkey to discuss bilateral issues as well as cooperation on the future of Afghanistan.

The IEA officials have pledged to provide the utmost support to Afghan refugees who want to return to the country from Turkey, added Cavusoglu.

He also underlined that the IEA delegation conveyed requests to Turkey during the meeting, especially on humanitarian aid and continued investment in Afghanistan.

Last month, Cavusoglu said Turkey has contributed to stabilization and development efforts in Afghanistan, including on the education of girls and empowerment of women since the 1920s, adding that Ankara continues providing humanitarian aid through the Turkish Red Crescent.

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