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UNAMA urges foreign community to support Afghanistan at pledging summit



(Last Updated On: September 15, 2020)

In the lead up to the pledging conference scheduled for November in Geneva, calls have been made for the international community to stand by Afghanistan during its journey to peace, prosperity and self-reliance. 

The ministerial-level pledging conference this year is being jointly organized by the Afghan government, the government of Finland and the United Nations.

It aims to renew international and Afghan commitments to the development and stability of the country, to agree to joint development goals for the years 2021 through to 2024 and to coordinate development cooperation regarding financial support for the country. 

In a joint statement issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Tuesday, calls were made by all three parties for the Afghan government and foreign development partners to work together. 

”Afghanistan is at a critical juncture. On peace, we have moved from desirability to feasibility and credibility due, largely, to the sacrifices made by the Afghan people and the unmatched confidence-building measures taken by the Afghan government,” said Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of Finance, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal.

.” When we look into the future, we must remain united in our vision and ambition to realize a progressive, prosperous, democratic, free and stable Afghanistan in peace with itself, its neighbors and the world,” he said. 

“On development, while maintaining emphasis on high-level planning, the focus must shift to delivery and implementation,” he said adding that the Afghan government and its international development partners must work together on a vision for demonstrable reduction in poverty that is realistic and well-targeted. 

He stated that investment in peace and development must provide sufficient guarantees for gender equity, protection of human rights, women’s rights and the rights of minorities as well as democratic principles. 

“The Republic is a true embodiment of Afghanistan’s diversity and must be strengthened. Corruption, which drains Afghanistan’s valuable resources and interrupts the process of realizing self-reliance, must be fought in all its forms,” he said. 

With the conference taking place during a historic period in Afghanistan’s history – after peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban got underway this past weekend in Doha – UNAMA states that this provides new opportunities for development. 

According to the statement, stronger partnerships and sustained international support are critical in helping to achieve and sustain peace after 40 years of war. 

Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland said that it’s the first time in decades that there is a real chance for peace. 

She said Finland stands firmly with other international partners in supporting Afghanistan but highlighted that “inclusivity and women’s meaningful participation at all stages of the peace process are vital for peace and development.” 

Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan seconded this and said this was a critical time for Afghanistan as it works towards ending the decades-old war.

On the upcoming pledging summit, she said: “I hope the international community uses this occasion in Geneva to reaffirm its steadfast support to Afghanistan’s development, in parallel with the peace process. 

“The UN is committed to working with the Afghan Government, Finland, and the donor community to deliver the best possible outcome for the benefit of all Afghans,” she said. 

Ville Skinnari, Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade also weighed in and said his country was looking forward to co-hosting the conference. 

“Solving the complex challenges in Afghanistan requires joint efforts and long-term commitment from Afghanistan and the international community,” he said adding that together with other foreign stakeholders, Finland was committed to reshaping the aid architecture while ensuring it will preserve the progress achieved over the past 19 years. 

The event will take place in Geneva and attended “virtually” by more than 70 countries, international organizations and Afghan officials. 

UNAMA stated that in view of ongoing travel and gathering restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, further information about conference logistics and the agenda will be made available closer to the date of the event.


Health officials and experts meet in Kabul over spread of lumpy skin disease



(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

A seminar was held in Kabul on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing spread of lumpy skin disease (LSD) in livestock in Afghanistan.

Experts from Kabul University, along with representatives of the Ministries of Public Health, Agriculture and Livestock and municipalities met Tuesday to discuss the dangers of this virus.

Delegates attending the seminar pointed out the need to prevent the spread of the disease in the country.

According to health officials, this virus is transmitted by some species of mosquitoes, ticks and other blood-feeding insects but is not transmitted to humans.

“This virus has spread from eastern and southeastern provinces such as Laghman, Nangarhar and Kunar, but currently, this virus does not have a vaccine, and fortunately, this disease does not transmit to humans,” said Shirshah Sadat, dean of Kabul University’s Faculty of Veterinary Sciences.

Nasir Ahmad, the representative of the Ministry of Public Health also said: “This virus is problematic for food health, especially for people suffering from malnutrition.”

“This virus is transmitted from one animal to another by mosquitoes and flies and the source of its transmission should be eliminated, and quarantine and vaccines are said to be good ways to fight this disease,” said Asadullah Samadi, a university professor.

The representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock said that a campaign to curb the spread of this virus will be launched in cooperation with international organizations in all provinces in the near future.

The virus has in recent years been detected in Kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman and southeastern provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Logar and Ghazni.

The disease was endemic in many African countries for years, but spread to other parts of the world over the years. The disease first appeared in South Asia in July 2019, with Bangladesh reporting an outbreak. A month later, it was identified in India – which has the world’s largest bovine population – and then in China.

The infection is caused by the Capripox virus – which is genetically similar to the viruses that cause goat pox and sheep pox – and has been termed “an emerging threat to livestock worldwide” by health experts.

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Two IEA forces and 4 Daesh fighters killed in Kabul clash 



(Last Updated On: August 4, 2022)

Four Daesh militants were killed and a fifth was arrested in an operation in Kabul on Wednesday. 

According to Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), forces had conducted a raid on an “important nest of the enemy” in Karte-e-Sakhi area in PD3. 

The operation was launched at about 11.30am but a shootout between IEA and Daesh militants broke out, which lasted several hours. The situation was eventually brought under control and a cache of weapons and ammunition was recovered. 

Mujahid said in a series of tweets that the Daesh cell had been planning to attack Shiites in the Kart-e-Sakhi area during the upcoming Muharram. 

Meanwhile, the ministry of interior said in a statement that two security personnel, including a policewoman, were killed in the standoff and four IEA soldiers were wounded. 


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Iranian energy ministry delegation to visit Kabul over water rights



(Last Updated On: July 29, 2022)

Iran is reportedly sending a delegation from the ministry of energy affairs to Afghanistan to discuss their water share rights regarding the Helmand River.

According to Iran’s IRNA news agency, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a phone conversation that he is dispatching the delegation in the near future in order to resolve issues around water.

IRNA reported that Amirabdollahian raised the issue of recent heavy rainfall in Afghanistan and expressed hope that the “artificially created obstacles” in the way of the flow of water towards Iran will be eliminated and Iran will receive its water share from the Helmand River.

Amirabdollahian also reportedly told Muttaqi that receiving their share of water will be an important index for Kabul in terms of showing how committed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is about meeting “their international commitments”, IRNA reported.

Amirabdollahian said the people of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan and their representatives in Parliament are seriously demanding their share of water and that unless the issue is resolved quickly, “it will affect the other issues in bilateral cooperation negatively”, IRNA reported.

According to IRNA, Muttaqi in turn welcomed the delegation’s upcoming visit and said Afghanistan is committed to giving Iran their share of water from the Helmand River, which flows into the country.

Amirabdollahian said that a joint team of technicians will survey the river’s path and ensure both countries benefit from the water.

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