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Reconstruction Work in Afghanistan Reported

Development projects restricted by insecurity in Afghansitan

Tuesday 6 October 2015, by Catherine BISSON-SERIAN

KABUL (Pajhwok Afghan News) – While presenting a nine months report at a meeting, Rural Rehabilitation and Development Minister Naseer Ahmad Durrani said on Tuesday said that millions of people benefited from nearly 10,000 uplift schemes, which provided work opportunities for thousands of individuals in different parts of the country.

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Naseer Ahmad Durrani

Nearly 10,000 development projects, costing $230 mln, have been implemented over the past nine months across the country. The programs included some 2600 water supply and healthcare projects, more than 2300 irrigation plans, 3,000 transportation and 1000 community development centres and 400 power supply initiatives.

As many as 300 educational and 16 livelihood plans, as well as government buildings, were among the projects. The minister said of the $389 mln development budget, the ministry had spent 60% ($232 mln) on implementation of the schemes.

$110 million contracts for 3,800 welfare schemes, including 900 water supply and healthcare projects, irrigation, transport, community centres, power, education and capacity development and agriculture plans, were signed this year.

For combating corruption, a public relations department had been set up in the ministry, he said. For transparency purposes, the attendance system has been computerised the contracts are publicised at ministry website.

However, the execution of some other projects had been halted due to insecurity in several parts of the country, Durrani said, adding militant-linked violence was having a negative impact on the uplift effort. Insecurity is at a level that is critical for Afghans everywhere, in cities as in remote rural villages. Afghans today are living in an environment where increasing numbers of people openly carry weapons and armed groups proliferate. Besides uniformed forces, a multitude of opposition and pro-government armed groups are actively engaged in fighting."

Access to health care is being severely compromised by roadside bombs, long detours over mountain roads to avoid routes that are closed, and delays at checkpoints. Local health-care facilities in some areas are closed or the staff have fled. Simple poverty prevents many rural families from taking costly taxis to reach medical facilities unless the patient’s condition is life threatening.

It is clear that the Taliban leadership continues to receive protection from the Pakistani military and intelligence establishments. It stands to reason that without an external sanctuary, sustainable funding, weapons supplies, and intelligence support in Pakistan, the Taliban would be unable to reconsolidate its control over Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is also vulnerable to transnational security threats, stemming in particular from the narcotics trade and terrorism stand. These security threats feed into and are fed by Afghanistan’s internal and regional challenges.

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