Newsfeed; Friday, November 1 2019

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 1 Nov 2019 Share this post

    Afghanistan Increases Use of Renewable Energy Sources

    Afghanistan’s renewable energy resource potential is estimated at over 300,000 megawatts, with hydropower currently being the main source of renewable energy.

    As per Wasdam report, Naghlu Hydropower is the country’s largest hydropower plant. The rehabilitation of one of its four turbines was carried out under the Naghlu Hydropower Rehabilitation Project in May 2018.

    The use of solar energy is also rapidly increasing throughout the country. The Afghan government recently issued a request for prequalification document for a 40MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project located in western Herat province. World Bank Group’s ‘Scaling Solar’ initiative will be acting as lead advisor for this project.

    A meeting for interested companies and consortia will be organized on 5 November and prequalification applications must be submitted by 30 November 2019.

    In May 2019, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued a $4 million to build and operate a 15.1-megawatt (MW) solar power plant. The aim of the project is to reach a goal set by the government to generate 40% share/5,000MW of the country’s total energy capacity from solar by 2032.

    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $10 million fund to support a 10-MW solar power plant in Kandahar in 2017. Kandahar Solar became the first privately built and operated power plant of this capacity in Afghanistan.

  • 1 Nov 2019 Share this post

    Over 400,000 Afghans Returned Home From Iran, Pakistan: Migration Organization

    A total of 403,338 people have returned to Afghanistan from neighboring Iran and Pakistan since the beginning of the year, the UN-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a report released on October 31.

    The report said that some 385,000 Afghans have been repatriated from Iran, with just over half of them being forced to leave under deportation orders.

    The IOM estimates that 1.5 million to 2 million undocumented Afghans are currently living in Iran.

    The IOM also said that some 17,500 Afghans have returned from Pakistan since the start of the year. Pakistan hosts 1.3 million registered Afghan nationals, and more than 1 million Afghans who are unregistered, the IOM said.

    High unemployment, a weak economy, and a precarious security situation in Afghanistan have driven the migration to neighboring countries and the rest of the world.

  • 1 Nov 2019 Share this post

    US Envoy Reportedly Returns to Afghanistan, Discusses Prisoner Swap

    US special representative on the Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad has reportedly returned to Kabul after discussing issues related to the peace process with Pakistani officials.

    US special representative on the Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad has reportedly returned to Kabul after discussing issues related to the peace process with Pakistani officials.

    US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul Thursday to talk about the release of two American university professors that had been kidnapped by the Haqqani network.

    A credible source told VOA that Mr. Khalilzad is in Kabul to discuss the release of the two professors with Afghan officials.

    Afghan NSA Adviser had previously said that works underway to release the two foreign professors.

    According to reports, the Taliban have demanded the release of 80 prisoners of the group, including Anas Haqqani and Hafiz Rashid for a swap with the two university professors.

  • 1 Nov 2019 Share this post

    Czechia to Provide Financial Aid to Afghanistan

    The Czech Republic will provide financial aid of 40 million Czech crowns (over €1.5 million) to support local security forces and agricultural development in Afghanistan.

    As per Czech news agency, the decision on financial aid for Afghanistan is based on a government resolution from 2016. According to this resolution, the Czech Republic should donate 40 million Czech crowns annually between 2018 and 2020 to support security and sustainable development.

    In 2016, the then Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said that the Czech Republic wants to contribute to improving security and the economic situation in Afghanistan. By doing so, it would like to create conditions in order to ensure that people from Afghanistan do not migrate to other countries, including those in Europe. The government of the Czech Republic must approve the disbursement every year.

    The donation will be divided into two parts. Half of the amount will go to the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund, which is supervised by the World Bank. It supports projects aimed at increasing the self-sufficiency of the Afghan population and reducing the motivation to emigrate.

    Czech money will be used to finance projects focusing on agriculture, rural development, and education.

    The Czech Republic will invest the second tranche of money in projects for improving the quality of Afghan security forces. 15 million crowns (about €600,000) will go to the Trust Fund for the Afghan National Army, which is managed by NATO. The rest will be invested in the Trust Fund for Law and Order administered by the UN Development Fund.

  • 1 Nov 2019 Share this post

    Man Shot Killed In Front Of His Child In Kandahar

    Armed men shot killed a man in front of his child in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province on Thursday, an official said.

    Governor Spokesperson Baheer Ahmadi declared that Amanullah was a military personnel and hailed from the Arghandab district.

    He was out to get grocery for home when came under attack by the gunmen. His child was with him in the car when attacked.

    The assailants fled the scene but police have launched investigation, he added.

    The Taliban have not commented regarding the incident.