COVID-19: AFG. TRADE ISSUES UPDATE

Torkham and Spin Boldak Crossing Points Re-opened 
Torkham and Chaman will now remain open 5 days a week for movement of goods from Pakistan to Afghanistan including the transit trade, minimum of 100 trucks will cross each day providing essential supplies to Afghanistan. For more information, click here.
First Personal Protective Equipment Factory Opens in Kabul
The first factory to produce masks and protective kits for healthcare workers was opened in Kabul to fight the corona-virus. The factory’s production capacity is tens of thousands of protective packages a day, including masks and special clothing for doctors. The Corona Speed Hoggram Mask and Protective Kit Factory produces masks and protective packages for doctors and health workers at the lowest prices, with a capacity of up to tens of thousands of protective packages per day. For more information, click here.  

World Bank Approves $400 Million to Sustain Afghanistan’s Reform Momentum, Mitigate COVID-19 Crisis
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a $400 million grant to help Afghanistan sustain the pace of key economic and public finance reforms, and support the country to manage current risks and uncertainties compounded by the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, click here.  

IMF Executive Board Approves a US$220 Million Disbursement to Afghanistan to Address the COVID-19 
The IMF Executive Board approved Afghanistan’s request for emergency assistance in the amount of SDR 161.9 million (approximately US$220 million) under the Rapid Credit Facility.
The pandemic is inflicting heavy damage on Afghanistan’s economy, which is expected to contract sharply in 2020, imperiling the livelihood of a significant segment of the population.
The authorities are taking emergency measures to contain the pandemic and its immediate social and economic impact. For more information, click here.  

India to Supply 50,000 Tons of Wheat and Medicine to Afghanistan The Indian government will supply 50,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan in diplomatic deals, according to Indian news sources. This wheat output has far exceeded the demand in India due to favorite whether conditions, and therefore, the country is exporting 50,000 tons to Afghanistan and 40,000 tons to Lebanon. The neighboring country will also be exporting hydrochloride medicine to Afghanistan and 13 other countries. This comes as COVID-19 continues to spread in Afghanistan and prices of food and medicine have gone up. For more information, click here.    

US Provides $15M in Aid to Afghanistan to Fight COVID-19
The US government has pledged $15 million in aid to help combat COVID-19 in Afghanistan, according to a statement issued by the US embassy in Kabul. The statement adds that $5 million of the aid will go toward health and humanitarian assistance for Internally Displaced Persons in the country. The remaining of the amount is dedicated to supporting emergency response programs led by WHO and UN to combat corona virus. These programs include improvement of corona virus detection centers, management of virus control and prevention, community participation and technical assistance to the program. 
For the more information click here.  

EU aid of 117 million euros to fight Corona in Afghanistan
The European Union (EU) has allocated € 117 million to prevent the spread of the corona virus in Afghanistan, of which € 50 million will be spent on public health. The European Union (EU) said in a statement on Saturday (April 11th) that € 117 million would be spent on medical equipment, diagnostic kits for the corona virus, improving the condition of children and mothers, as well as relocating returnees from Iran and Pakistan.
For the more information click here.  

Herat Tailor Stops Clothes Production, Makes Silk Masks
A shop in the western province of Herat has started producing masks from silk, as well as other materials, to fight the outbreak of COVID-19, said the owner on Wednesday. Reka Sadat, owner of the shop, said that he has switched from making clothes to making masks since the spread of the coronavirus, adding that the “silk-made masks are superior to other fabrics.”
For the more information click here.  

Afghan Govt Approves $1.1B Package for COVID-19 Response
The government of Afghanistan approved Afs89.9 billion (over $1.1 billion) as part of a financial package to fight the coronavirus, with Afs30 billion ($392 million) coming from the existing government budget, and the remaining Afs60 billion ($785 million) from international donors, according to Finance Ministry spokesperson Shamroz Khan Masjidi.“With all these amendments, the (current) fiscal year’s budget increases to Afs449 billion ($5.88 billion) from Afs428 billion ($5.6 billion). These amendments will be sent to the parliament for approval,”  For the more information click here.  

Create a regular freight train from Tashkent to the port of Hairatan Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Transport announced that the country’s railway company will send a regular freight train to Afghanistan three times a week. Some of the train’s wagons in Tashkent and other wagons on the Tashkent-Hiratan road are scheduled to be connected to the train. According to Afghan embassy officials in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan’s exports to China, Russia and Kazakhstan will be easier and Afghanistan will be closer to Central Asia. For the more information click here.
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