Natural disasters still threaten affected areas, CM

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KABUL: President Hamid Karzai chaired the periodical meeting of the Council of Ministers in Arg yesterday.
At the beginning, the Council of Ministers offered prayer for the departed souls of those lost their lives in landslide in Argo district of Badakhshan and those who died in floods in Jauzjan, Saripul, Faryab, Badghis and Samangan provinces.
As per agenda, the vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili and head of counter-disaster management authority briefed the meeting about the tragic incident of landslide and providing humanitarian assistance to the affected people and said that the government has so far provided 2870 tents, tarpaulin and shelters, 4449 blankets, 2021 bags of flour, 703 bags of wheat, 2426 can of cooking oil, 4.5 tons bean, 60 bags of sugar, 550 kg salt, 2200 bags of rice, 2200 bottles and 150 barrels of water, 6000 cans of milk and juice, 300 solar boards and some breads, cake, tea, biscuit which have been provided by the ministry for defense, counter-disaster management authority, Red Crescent and international agencies.
Moreover, 67 million Afghanis cash, of these 40 million for Argo people of Badakhshan has also been provided to the provincial authorities to assist affected people.
However, president Karzai briefed the participants about the telephonic contacts of US president and Indian Premier over natural disaster in Argo of Badakhshan and expressing sympathy with the government and people of Afghanistan. The Indian Prime Minister has pledged to contribute 1million US dollars to the affected people in Argo district.
Mohammad Karim Khalili said that threats are still exist in Argo and other parts of the provinces and expressed thank the aid agencies particularly the defense ministry for rescuing affected people and supplying assistance on time.
To avoid the repetition of casualties in landslide the affected area in Argo has been announced as forbidden area and traveling people there is prohibited.
– A committee should be tasked to urgently specify a safe place for replacing the displaced families and those 80 families whose areas are under threat.
– With close cooperation of Argo district governor, the tasked committee should urgently specify affected toll of families and report it to National Disaster Management Committee.
– A particular mechanism should be made for distribution of assistance provided by the government and foreign organizations to affected people of the incident and the assistance should be distributed according to the mechanism.
– A monitoring panel formed from a high level team should be tasked in order to overall monitor all transition and distribution process of the assistance.
– Urgent step should be taken related to clearing direction of water blocked by landslide.
– Ministry of Finance should open a particular bank account for organizing of cash assistance provided by domestic and international organizations.
Following, the first vice president accompanied by Minister of Borders, Minister of Urban Development, Deputy Minister of MoI for Security Affairs, two representatives of Badakhshan people in Wolisi Jirga, European Union special envoy to Afghanistan, ambassadors of Tajikistan, Sweden, Holland and Denmark to Kabul paid visit to Badakhshan the other day and while expressing condolence to the affected people and praising the government for urgent steps related to providing assistance said residents of the area were in good psychological condition comparing to past few days.
The first vice president added displaced and those families who were under threat needed to be seriously cared of and it was necessary to take urgent step for taking the families to a safe area. He expressed his concern over all areas which were under threat in northern provinces and suggested that urgent and necessary measures should be taken for prevention of happening such incidents in all provinces of the country, saying foodstuffs and clothes should be supplied to the provinces.
The CM also passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Laws. The two new laws passed today have been drafted to address the weaknesses in the banking sector in wake of the Kabul Bank crisis and to further improve and strengthen the nascent financial sector in the country. The AML/CFT laws have been drafted in consultation with the relevant international agencies including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts and meet the requirement and recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Besides better regulation of financial sector, the mentioned laws are crucial in providing a more conducive and attractive legal environment for investors and international transactions. These laws were also part of Afghanistan’s Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) commitment at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan about two years ago and the government’s ongoing IMF program for macroeconomic stability. The passage of the AML/CFT laws come only two days and two weeks after the Wolesi Jirga passed two other laws critical for moving towards Afghanistan’s self-reliance as committed to in TMAF – the Minerals Law and the Value Added Tax Law. The Kabul Times

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