Eid Mubarak – We wish you and your family a happy and blessed Eid!

August 8, 2013   Posted in: Cultural Heritage, Uncategorized  Comments Closed

Major victory for Afghanistan’s national cricket team

Group photo - Afghanistan's National Cricket Team

Yesterday, Afghanistan defeated Namibia in a 3-day Intercontinental Cup (IC) match by 10 wickets.

On day one, Namibia won the coin toss and chose to bat first. In their first inning, Namibia scored 190 runs. Afghanistan’s captain, Mohammad Nabi took 6 of Namibia’s 10 wickets for 33 runs. For part of day 1 and day 2, Afghanistan batted and scored 354 runs. Ashgar Stanikzai scored his first century in 198 balls and added a total of 127 runs to the Afghan total for the day. Former captain Nawroz Mangal scored 59 runs and Dawlat Zadran scored 50. On day 3, Namibia only managed to score 168 runs in their second inning – thanks to great bowling from Afghanistan. Izatullah Dawlatzai took 5 wickets including a hat-trick in the 67th over. In Afghanistan’s second inning, they easily made the 5 runs that were required to achieve their 10 wicket win.

With this win, Afghanistan earns 20 points and falls in second place behind Ireland in the overall IC points table. Scotland is currently in third place. If Afghanistan defeats Kenya, they will automatically go the finals. Afghanistan’s cricket matches against Namibia aren’t over yet.

August 7, 2013   Posted in: Afghan Sports News  Comments Closed

MCIT to connect Afghan hospitals for better healthcare delivery

In a major effort to improve health care delivery, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) announced today that a total of 78 hospitals throughout the country will be connected to each other and international hospitals abroad via optical fiber technology. Doctors in Afghanistan will be able to consult with experts in international research centers to help diagnose and treat patients. This will be very beneficial for provinces with little access to advanced health facilities. The project will cost $4 million and will be completed over the next three years.

August 3, 2013   Posted in: Health News  Comments Closed

August 2, 2013 Round Up: Good News Reports from Afghan Media

Compared to last year, almond product has increased substantially this year in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province. Pesticide distributed by the Ministry of Agriculture was cited as the reason for the increase. Almond is one of the food items Afghanistan exports. – Bakhtar News Agency

The International Finance Cooperation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, recently conducted a study to assess loan services in various countries. Afghanistan was listed at the top position among the Central Asian and North African countries for providing loan services. Implementation of modern technology has prevented abuses in the lending process. – Ariana News

About 30,000 Paghman families will now have access to electricity, thanks to the Da Afghanistan Brishna Shirkat (DABS) power company extending a 16 kilometer long power transmission line from Dasht-e Chamtala substation to the Paghman district of Kabul. – Ariana News

Construction work on the Bagrami-Sabzabad road in Surkhrod (Nangarhar province), and a protective wall along it began earlier this week. The road will help address the long standing problems of area residents. The 3km road is expected to be completed in 4 months. – Pajhwok Afghan News

The United States Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced yesterday $8.5 million in aid for Afghan judicial staff training. – Pajhwok Afghan News

August 2, 2013   Posted in: Afghanistan's Economy, Reconstruction and Development  Comments Closed

Afghan woman announced as a winner of the 2013 N-Peace Awards

Masouda Karokhi

Afghan women’s rights advocate Masouda Karokhi was announced as one of the eight winners of the 2013 N-Peace Awards, the N-Peace Network announced on their Facebook site today. According to their website, the N-Peace initiative and the Awards campaign are managed by the UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Center (APRC).  “The awards recognize and profile women leaders and peace builders creating change at the grassroots to national levels in Asia.” “Even during the worst times for women in Afghanistan, Masuada Karokhi remained an unwavering activist for women’s rights”, the organization has posted on their website. Despite receiving death threats from extremists, Masuada Karokhi continued her work for the advancement of Afghan women’s rights, even providing secret classes for poor girls and women during the rule of the Taliban. “Not one to mince her words, she has spoken out against ‘the culture of fraud and electoral abuse’, the lack of implementation of the Constitution, and political violence against women”, the organization added. Karokhi and other 7 were chosen out of 90 nominated candidates from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and the Philippines. The award will be officially given to Karokhi in a special ceremony scheduled for October of this year.

July 31, 2013   Posted in: Human Rights, Women's Rights  Comments Closed

ACCI: Afghanistan’s exports up 40%

Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) announced on their website today that the country’s exports have increased by 40%, compared to the same period last year. Last year, in the first quarter, the exports stood at $64 million, and this year, it’s at $100 million. The ACCI said that the increase has been due to the “reduction of natural plant diseases, favorable climate, increase in harvesting fruits, and better circumstances of trade transit with neighboring countries”. Most of Afghanistan’s exports are carpets, dried and fresh fruits, vegetables, chemical plants, animal products, cereal, and cotton. These are exported to such places as Pakistan, India, Central Asia countries, Iran, Russia, China, Europe, Canada, Australia and the Gulf Countries. Afghan officials are optimistic that the numbers will increase, especially with the increased use of the Chabahar port in Iran.

July 29, 2013   Posted in: Afghanistan's Economy  Comments Closed

Over a thousand families in Parwan now have access to electricity; Afghans start use of Iran’s Chabahar Port

Afghanistan’s Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported today that a power transformer was inaugurated on Saturday in Charikar, the capital city of Parwan province that will provide 1,100 families with access to electricity. The transformer was installed by the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) power company. The local residents expressed happiness over the project, reported BNA. Mohammad Zarif, a resident said they had to use lantern and gas lamps previously. “We are happy our electricity problem has been resolved.”

In other news, Afghanistan officially started the use of Iran’s Chabahar Port on Saturday. Afghanistan had previously signed an agreement with Iran to use the port so that Afghans can export goods like saffron, fruits, carpets, and other items to India, Central Asia and Europe. Thanks to this new agreement with Iran, Afghanistan is now not dependent solely on Pakistan’s Karachi port for its exporting needs. The Iranian port can also be used to import goods from India, something the Pakistanis would give Afghanistan a hard time about. Overall, this new agreement will have a very beneficial impact to Afghanistan’s economy.

July 28, 2013   Posted in: Afghanistan's Economy, Reconstruction and Development  Comments Closed

July 26, 2013 Round Up: Good News Reports from Afghan Media

Government officials from Afghanistan’s northern province of Balkh announced earlier this week that thanks to plans implemented by the government, there has been a 50% decline in the crime. “This year, crimes such as murder, robbery and kidnapping have reduced by over 50 percent. It is a big achievement for the Balkh police department,” said Abdul Razaq, a provincial security official. – Tolo news

Thanks to financial assistance from the United States, a free medical treatment drive has been launched in precincts 6 and 13 of Kabul for families that cannot afford private health facilities. The program provides services in the fields of gynecology, maternity and internal diseases. The medicines are also provided free of cost. – Ariana News

A big conference will be held in Kandahar province aimed at luring foreign and local investments, Afghanistan’s Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal announced yesterday. – Pajhwok Afghan News

Construction work on streets within the Industrial Park of Pul-e Charkhi in Kabul started on Wednesday, July 24th. According to the Afghan Investment Support Agency (AISA), the project will cost about US$6 million and will be completed in two years. – 1TV

Earlier this week, the World Bank granted US$12.5 million to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs so it can be used to modernize the pension system and assist needy families in the provinces.- Shamshad TV

July 26, 2013   Posted in: Afghanistan's Economy, Health News, Reconstruction and Development, Security in Afghanistan  Comments Closed

Afghan Governor Receives Prestigious Award

Governor Habiba Sarobi

Afghanistan’s female governor of Bamyan province, Habiba Sarobi, has been awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award, the foundation announced in a press release today. The award is named after a Philippine president, who died in a plane crash in 1957. According to the foundation, he was a president, “who was well-loved for his simplicity and humility, his passion for justice, particularly for the poor, and his advancement of human dignity.”

The foundation said that Sarobi was given the award for “her bold exercise of leadership to build up a functioning provincial government against great odds—intractable political adversities, a harsh and impoverished environment, and pervasive cultural discrimination—serving her people with a hopeful persistence grounded in her abiding commitment to peace and development in Afghanistan”

Habiba Sarobi was appointed as Afghanistan’s first ever-female provincial governor on March 2, 2005 by President Hamid Karzai.

July 24, 2013   Posted in: Human Rights, Women's Rights  Comments Closed

New school buildings to be built in Khost and Jowzjan provinces

Special foundation stone laying ceremonies have been held in Khost and Jowzjan provinces, an official from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education announced today. In the eastern province of Khost, an agricultural high school building is expected to be built in 6 months at a cost of 13,007,000 afghanis. The funding for the project will come from the Word Bank. Once completed, the school building will have 16 classrooms, 8 administrative rooms and 4 bathrooms. Meanwhile in northern Jowzjan province, a middle school building will be built in 8 months in Shibergan at a cost of 5 million afghanis. The money will come from the education ministry’s budget. Once completed, the building will have 8 classrooms, and 5 administrative rooms. As new school buildings are built, less Afghan students will have to study in tents or in the open air.

July 23, 2013   Posted in: Education, Reconstruction and Development  Comments Closed

Roads and bridges to be built in 5 Afghan provinces

In an effort to further improve Afghanistan’s infrastructure, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Works announced road and bridge building projects in 5 different provinces yesterday. The projects which will be funded by the world Bank at a cost of 358 million afghanis will be completed by provide Afghan companies.

Specifically, a 28km road in Kunduz, a 60km road in Badakhshan, and a 48 km road in Bamiyan will be constructed. Furthermore, a 68 meter bridge in Baghlan, and a 160 meter bridge will be built in Khost province. The projects which are expected to be operational within one year will have a very positive impact to Afghanistan’s economy, education, and security.

July 23, 2013   Posted in: Afghanistan's Economy, Education, Reconstruction and Development, Security in Afghanistan  Comments Closed

More Afghan women joining police force in Herat

Female trainee

More and more women are signing up to join the police force in Afghanistan’s western province Herat, according to a special Xinhua report today. “Two years ago, only three women enrolled in the police training center; but up to now, 300 women have finished training and joined the police force in Herat and several dozen are receiving training here at the moment,” Colonel Mohammad Ibrahim, commander of the provincial police training center told Xinhua.

The women undergo a six-week program to learn how to use equipment and weaponry. They are also taught self-defense as well as Afghan laws. “Serving the nation is not only the job of men. It is also our obligations to serve our country. We are determined to do so,” a trainee told Xinhua.

July 22, 2013   Posted in: Security in Afghanistan, Women's Rights  Comments Closed