Ghani To Inaugurate Day 2 Of Senior Official Meeting 2020

President Ashraf Ghani will deliver the keynote address on the second day of the Fourth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) 2020 in Kabul on Tuesday.

Shamroz Khan Masjidi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, said that the first day of the summit was chaired by the governments of Afghanistan and Finland and the United Nations.

“Two issues will be discussed at the summit. One is the second draft of the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework, which sets out the Afghan government’s vision for peace, security, the economy and self-sufficiency for the next five years,” Masjidi told the media. “The second is the report on the progress of bilateral commitments from the Geneva Conference to this.”

The first day of the SOM Summit was held in Kabul on Monday evening and was attended by representatives of over 40 countries and international organizations.

They discussed the social and economic impact of COVID-19, the peace process and the development of Afghanistan.

Abdul Habib Zadran, Deputy Minister of Finance, briefed the participants and said that the national revenue of Afghanistan was projected to fall by 25 to 30% by the end of the current fiscal year, due to the impact of Coronavirus on the economy.

Zadran said the country’s economic growth will decrease this year and the next, while COVID-19 would lead to increasing poverty and unemployment.

“The donor community through grant flows, and highly concessional loans could help Afghanistan overcome the severe impacts of COVID-19,” said World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, Henry Kerali.

“Increase in international aid to Afghanistan in the upcoming Geneva Conference, increase in Afghanistan’s budget efficiency, regional connectivity, and funding SDGs could help Afghanistan minimize the COVID-19 impacts,” said Abdallah Al Dardari, the new UN Development Programme representative to Afghanistan.

The participants called on the Afghan government to ensure “transparency and efficiency” in the use of international aid for mitigating the effects of COVID-19, and for preserving the rights of women, children and minorities in the peace talks.

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