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Six Civilians Killed in Uruzgan Blasts

Six Civilians Killed in Uruzgan Blasts

At least six civilians were killed and seven others were injured in separate blasts in southern Uruzgan province, local officials said on Saturday.

The first blast took place on Friday night in Chora district of the province when a civilian vehicle struck a roadside mine killing four civilians and injuring four others, Provincial Governor spokesman Dost Mohammad Shah said.

Shah said second blast took place in the district of Dihrawood on Saturday afternoon when two motorbikes struck roadside mines that killed two civilians and injured three others.

The victims have been taken to a nearby hospital for treatments.

No group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the blasts.(Tolonews)

EU announces further support for the development of Afghanistan

This past Friday, the European Commission announced new development funding in the amount of €1.4 billion to Afghanistan for the period 2014-2020. The funds will focus on vital sectors for growth and social stability, such as rural development and agriculture, health, and strengthening democracy in the country.

The ratification of the development programme (known as Multiannual Indicative Programme), between European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and the National Economic Adviser Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal took place on Friday in Washington, as part of the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Commissioner Piebalgs said: “This agreement is evidence of the EU’s continued long-term commitment to Afghanistan. Our support is based on lessons learned through our cooperation with the country and draws on the priorities singalled out by the national authorities. In short, the money will go where it is most needed and could be most effective. We expect these funds to create the conditions necessary to improve Afghan citizens’ livelihoods, by creating jobs, further strengthening Afghanistan’s institutions, and better enabling the population to have their say.”

He adde, “I welcome the formation of the Government of National Unity, which is an important step in securing the future of all Afghans. The EU looks forward to hearing the Government set out its reform programme at the London Conference next month. In line with other donors, the EU will set aside 20% of its funding to incentivise those reforms.”

Afghanistan funding programme for the period 2014-2020 is the largest under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). This exceptional level of support aims to respond to the huge challenges on the ground: Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. About 80% of the population depends on agriculture and associated livelihoods. Seasonal and chronic unemployment are common and increasing in Afghanistan.

The EU aims to support to the country during its “Transformation Decade”, which the EU had pledged to do at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in 2012. The majority of EU funding will be channelled into Afghanistan using the major trust funds, particularly the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) administered by the World Bank, and the Law and Order Trust Fund (LOTFA) administered by United Nations Development Programme.

The EU will focus its support to Afghanistan in the next seven years on:

  1. The development of a vital economic and employment sector: Agriculture and rural development (€337 million)
  2. A social sector with a track record of achieving results and critical for human development: Health (€274 million)
  3. The provision of physical and legal security for citizens through the increased professionalization of the police corps and application of the rule of law (€319 million)
  4. Enhancing the accountability of the state to its citizens through greater democratisation, such as through improved parliamentary, media, and civil society scrutiny (€163 million)
  5. €300 million will be used as an incentive component which would be paid based on the achievement of certain results and the progress agreed upon that are in line with the 2012 Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF).

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