The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Harakat Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility Organization, launched two interventions to improve the efficiency of the transit trucks at Afghanistan’s Torkham and Spin-Boldak border posts, while complying with Pakistan’s COVID-19 trade agreement.
The joint effort will revamp the disinfection of vehicles and cargo at the two border posts before the trucks cross over to Pakistan. They will provide disinfection equipment and supplies, recruit, and train staff to use the equipment.
They will also establish a specialized trans-shipment facility for containerized cargo at Torkham to reduce human contact.
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USAID and Harakat said these were the first steps towards opening borders to Afghan exports.
The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) CEO, Sayed Zaman Hashimi lauded the efforts and said the ACCI was ready to collaborate to “proactively engage with relevant stakeholders to find a sustainable solution to increase trade flow with Pakistan.”
The joint efforts will expedite the safe transit of cargo trucks, which will maintain trade flows during the pandemic. The number of trucks from Afghanistan have declined from an average of 150 per day before COVID-19 to 100 per week.