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Bayat Foundation and Cordaid partner to help 20 SME entrepreneurs

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2020)

The Bayat Foundation in partnership with Cordaid in Afghanistan said on Thursday they have successfully trained entrepreneurs from 20 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kabul in the past year.

Head of Cordaid in Afghanistan, Jaap van Hierden said they will continue with the program, to help young entrepreneurs develop their business skills, grow their businesses and train them in the processes around job seekers and hiring of staff.

Representatives from Bayat Foundation and Cordaid both said these entrepreneurs will be able to grow their businesses if they apply the lessons they have learned.

Ahsanullah Aryanzai, from Bayat Foundation, said their participation in the program will continue.

“We hope that the young generation will reach their goals and select a path of development, by [taking on] big economic projects, and innovations; they have the capacity to do that,” said Aryanzai.

Meanwhile, Hamidullah Karimi, head of the entrepreneurial division at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said the government wants to work with the private sector in order to boost SMEs.

“We as a government want to help the private sector and the private sector can also help the government.

“Without government, the private sector can not reach its full potential and without the private sector government can’t succeed in economic development,” he said.

The entrepreneurs who completed the skills development program meanwhile praised the two organizations for having helped them learn the skills needed to succeed.
“It was a very nice program and we are happy because we learned many things,” said one entrepreneur.

“It is a very good program, especially if you don’t have much knowledge about trade and business practices,” another entrepreneur said.

Cordaid has been active in Afghanistan since 2001 and works to help achieve a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. The organization works in six thematic areas: inclusive peace, security and justice, humanitarian aid, resilience, private sector development, and healthcare.

The Bayat Foundation was established in 2006 and has since helped rebuild Afghanistan as well as deliver hope and support to the neediest and most at-risk Afghans.

Active in numerous sectors in the country, the Bayat Foundation also provides food and clothing to the needy; maternity care for women before and during childbirth and to newborn babies; orphan care and education; competitive sports to challenge the youth; and entrepreneurship programs for widows, women and youth.

The Foundation’s goal is to rekindle a healthy and hopeful base so that all Afghans have the opportunity to prosper.

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Two women arrested on charges of blackmailing Kabul men 

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(Last Updated On: January 17, 2021)

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said Sunday that two young women suspected of blackmailing celebrities and prominent figures in Kabul have been arrested on charges of extortion.

In his daily 6:30 am meeting, Saleh stated that police detained the women in an operation in PD3 of the city.

“Under the direction of the 6:30 am meeting, the PD3 police succeeded in arresting two stylish girls who were extorting money from well-known and famous people,” Saleh said.

The girls were identified as Husna and Shaima, and are accused of having threatened men who refused to pay them money. Saleh added they would threaten to file a complaint of sexual harassment with the Human Rights Commission and to contact the men’s families if their victims failed to pay over money.

According to Saleh, a number of their victims paid the women money in order to save face and avoid possible consequences. 

The two women have targeted victims for a few years, Saleh said.

Saleh further stated that one of the main problems with regards to crimes like this is the shortage of women in the judiciary and police force.

“This imbalance has limited the government’s access to half of society in terms of investigations and criminal and legal issues,” he noted adding that in some cases, the government has no access to addressing such crimes involving women.

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Finance Ministry’s HR director arrested 

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(Last Updated On: January 17, 2021)

The Human Resource Director of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) Ghulam Mullakhel has been arrested over misuse of authority, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) confirmed on Sunday.

Mullakhel was arrested jointly by police and the AGO on Saturday night, the AGO said.

The AGO stated although Mullakhel had recently been fired, he continued to work illegally and appointed several individuals during this period.

The AGO added that the MoF official’s case is under investigation.

The Ministry of Finance confirmed the arrest of MullaKhel but did not provide further details.

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Norway concerned as death toll rises to 29 from COVID vaccine 

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(Last Updated On: January 17, 2021)
Norway has raised concerns about the safety of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine after reporting that 29 Norwegians died after receiving the inoculation. 
 
According to Bloomberg, it’s unclear exactly when the deaths occurred, but Norway has given at least one dose to about 42,000 people and focused on those considered most at risk if they contract the virus, including the elderly.
 
Until Friday, the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech SE was the only one available in Norway, and “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine,” the Norwegian Medicines Agency said in a written response to Bloomberg on Saturday.
 
“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency told Bloomberg.
 
All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. 
 
“Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”
 
Bloomberg states that official reports of allergic reactions have been rare as governments rush to roll out vaccines to try to contain the global pandemic. However, US authorities reported 21 cases of severe allergic reactions from December 14 to 23 after administration of about 1.9 million initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 
 
The first Europe-wide safety report on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is due to be published at the end of January.
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