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C I V I L - M I L I T A R Y



Week 29 16 July 2013


Comprehensive Information on Complex Crises


Economic Development Governance & Rule of Law Security & Force Protection Social & Strategic Infrastructure

This document provides an overview of developments in Afghanistan from 18 June 15 July 2013, with hyperlinks to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below, or other issues pertaining to events in Afghanistan, contact the members of the Afghanistan Team by visiting

Highlighted Topics

Clicking the links in this list will take you to the appropriate section.

Afghan Minister warns about the economic consequences of the withdrawal. Money laundering cases are on the rise, mainly through international airports. President Karzai links security agreement negotiations to the faltering peace process. Public uprisings against the Taliban have been on a rise. US DoD awards a contract for the provision of additional Russian-made helicopters. ANSF take over security while US authorities consider the zero option. Major breakthroughs on the development of TAPI gas pipeline. China, Iran and Kyrgyzstan interested to join the TAT railway.

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Economic Development


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uring a press conference in Kabul on 05 July, Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi warned that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in 2014 could have serious negative repercussions for the national economy, reports Tolo News. Ahadi stated that the economic situation over the past eleven years has been continuously improving but that the gradual withdrawal of foreign forces and the proliferation of security and employment issues related to the departure is a sign of trouble to come for the Afghan economy. Ahadi stated We already see the negative impacts of foreign forces withdrawing from Afghanistan. Many Afghans have lost their jobs who were previously employed and land prices are too low. In order to combat these problems, Ahadi urged the international community to meet their promises of greater budgetary assistance to the Afghan government. The minister also highlighted major issues such as unemployment and poverty, declining investment rates and low property values across Afghanistan that represent the largest obstacles to economic development within the country. Money laundering is another important issue that threatens Afghanistans economic prospects. According to Tolo News, officials from the Afghan Central Bank have recently expressed concerns that money laundering within the country is on the rise. An increase in the number of cases has been documented with a large amount of the laundered money being transferred through Kabul International Airport, Herat Airport and other channels. While officials have stressed that proper steps are being taken to combat such money laundering activities, individuals and groups are still able to move large amounts of cash out of the country illegally by taking advantage of loopholes in the Afghan financial system. Economic experts fear that rampant money laundering will have an adverse effect on the countrys financial system and on the broader Afghan economy. One new strategy development by the Central Bank to combat the flow of cash out of the country is to impose a USD 20,000 cap on the amount that an individual may legally transfer abroad.


For further information, contact: Afghanistan Team Leader The Afghanistan Team

On 01 July, the Afghan Ministry of Mines (MoM) announced that contracts for four new major mining sites were placed on hold pending the approval of the new Law on Mines in Parliament, according to Tolo News. According to officials, the contracts will be signed once the new law is passed by the Lower House of the Afghan Parliament. The mines in question are the Hajigak mine in Bamian province, the Zarkashan gold mine in Ghazni province, the Badakhshan gold mine and the Balkhab copper mine in Sar-e Pul province. Assad Zamir, Senior Policy and Programme Advisor to the Minister of Mines (MoM), stated regarding the new contracts: Although, several companies have won the blocks, they cannot start their mining activities unless the contract is signed, which can happen only if the new Law on Mines is approved. In related news, the MoM confirmed that a delegation of senior foreign officials visited Afghanistan on 23 June to evaluate and study opportunities for investment in the nations mining sector. The delegation was included officials from the United States, Great Britain and several Asian countries. On 27 June, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) pledged USD 1 billion in aid to Afghanistan over the next decade, writes Wadsam. While speaking at a gathering in Mazar-e-Sharif, Charlotte Peter Lodi, the head of SIDA, stated that the funds would be utilised to promote human rights as well as enhance education and democracy. In other foreign aid news, on 04 July the Japanese government announced that it will provide USD 1 million to help de-mining efforts in Afghanistan, adds Wadsam. The money will be used to fund the projects run by the British de-mining company HALO Trust. The main focus of the project will be to clear cultivatable land of mines that inhibit their use for agricultural purposes. The project is expected to provide access to land that has been unavailable for almost three decades to approximately 3,800 local Afghan families. Hiroshi Takahashi, the Japanese ambassador to Afghanistan, explained We are helping this important program because with the existence of these mines and explosive devi ces in agricultural lands, economic growth is impossible. In other development news, the United Kingdom has pledged to create more than 50,000 jobs for Afghan citizens in the agriculture, business and textile sectors. UK support in Afghanistan has already brought major improvements over the last decade. We have been clear that we will continue to stand alongside Afghans as they shape their country beyond military drawdown, said the UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening. Also, on 19 June, five Afghan companies signed the first Public-Private Alliances with the United States Agency for International development (USAID). USAID plans to assist these Afghan firms in expanding their business and injecting additional revenue into the Afghan economy. This alliance is expected to produce more than 260 direct and 2,200 indirect new jobs. A meeting was held in Kabul on 03 July between Afghan businessmen and investors from Kazakhstan for the collective purpose of investigating potential business opportunities, reports Tolo News. Kazakh ambassador to Afghanistan, Omirtai Bitimov attended the meeting. He proclaimed that his country was ready and willing to provide more opportunities for Afghans to invest in Kazakhstan. Additionally, on 07 July, officials at the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency announced that seventeen Indian companies have agreed to invest in several sectors of the Afghan economy. Experts have stated that, with these new investments, Indo-Afghan trade is set to reach the USD 1 billion mark within the next two years. The seventeen companies will most likely be investing in the sectors of agriculture, livestock, mining and information technology. During an exhibition aimed at empowering women, the Vice-Chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) blamed the government for failing to implement effective programmes to train domestic workers over the past twelve years, reports Tolo News. Khan Jan Alokozai stated The government in the past 12 years has failed to impl ement any programme to spread professionalism or train the citizens. Because of this 60 per cent of the professional work force in the country comes from abroad at an exorbitant price. The Deputy Minister within the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Surya Paikan, refuted the criticism, stating the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is running several programmes to train workers and these pr ogrammes have turned out fruitful. The ACCI previously voiced criticism of the government policies on 22 June, stating that the government of Afghanistan is facing numerous obstacles impeding its ability to implement programmes designed to spur economic growth within the country. ACCI officials have reported that volatile security conditions, infrastructure issues, administrative corruption, insufficient commercial law enforcement and the lack of financial institutions are some of the major problems presenting a roadblock to economic growth. The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has made the decision to impose a one per cent transit tax on goods moving across the Afghan border, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. The tax was included as a part of the annual budget for the region and has been approved by the provincial cabinet. Reportedly, this is the first time a transit tax has been imposed on Pakistani goods exported to Afghanistan via a route other than Karachi. It is estimated that Pakistan earns more than four billion Pakistani rupees in transit taxes for Afghan-bound goods. ACCI deputy head Khan Jan Alokozai asserted that such taxes had no room in the AfghanistanPakistan Transit Trade Agreement signed in 2011.

Governance & Rule of Law


ccording to US and European officials, President Barack Obama is contemplating quicker withdrawal from Afghanistan and a zero option under which no US troops would be left behind in Afghanistan after 2014, highlights The New York Times. This comes after Afghan President Hamid Karzai boycotted the peace process and halted negotiations over a long-term security deal with the US in response to US efforts to commence the long-delayed peace negotiations, which included the opening of a Taliban office in Qatars capital, Doha. Karzai condemned the talks, accusing t he US of side-lining the Afghan government in the peace process with the Taliban and Pakistan, noting that the office was opened without the presence of Afghan governmental officials, adds Khaama Press. He also accused the Taliban of trying to establish a government-in-exile after the insurgents displayed a sign reading the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and hoisted their old flag used during the Talibans five year rule of Afghanistan befor e 2001, writes the Associated Press (AP). Following Karzais comments, the Taliban lowered the flag, r emoved the plaque, suspended the 16 July 2013 Page 2

talks and temporarily closed the office, adds the AP. In a telephone interview, a Taliban official stated They [the Taliban] do not go out of their home in Doha and have not gone to the office since the removal of the flag and the plaque, further noting that the Taliban blame Karzai and the US for the breakdown in peace negotiations and for using the sign and the flag as a pretext. The Afghan National Security Council cited the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the [US] in regard to the Peace Process, as the reason for suspending the negotiation on the long-term security agreement with the US, writes Khaama Press. Linking the security negotiations to the faltering peace talks, Karzai said the Afghan government will not resume the negotiations over the long-term security deal with the US until the Taliban negotiate peace directly with Afghan government representatives, writes The New York Times. However, the Taliban have refused for years to deal directly with Karzais government, which they perceive as ill egitimate and installed by the West. A senior Taliban commander told Reuters, We [the Taliban] wanted direct talks with the US whereas the Afghan government has been planning to hold negotiations with us, which is not acceptable to us. Following the Afghan government outrage over the status of the Taliban office and the subsequent breakdown of the peace talks with the insurgents, ISAF deputy commander General Nick Carter expressed that if the negotiations with the Taliban had been initiated back in 2002 when the Taliban were on the run, they might have been more successful than today, writes The Guardian. Acknowledging the benefit of hindsight, Carted stated at that stage, if we had been very prescient, we might have spotted that a final polit ical solution to what started in 2001, from our perspective, would have involved getting all Afghans to sit at the table and talk about their future, quotes The Guardian. Carter further added, The problems that we have been encountering over the period since then are essentially political problems, and political problems are only ever solved by people talking to each other. In related news, the Afghan government accused Pakistan of promoting an Afghan power-sharing arrangement between Kabul and the Taliban as part of the peace process, highlights Reuters. According to Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi, discussion of the power-sharing arrangement involved an idea of federalism and ceding power in some Afghan provinces to the Taliban. According to Ahmadi, We [the Afghan government] believe this federalism is a means for the Pakistanis to achieve what they could not achieve through their proxy [the Taliban] on the battlefield. The accusation has strained the already tense relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, endangering a possible reset in the relations hoped for after the election of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in June 2013. During a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron held on 29 June, Afghan President Hamid Karzai also expressed concerns about Pakistans intentions regarding the peace process and warned that the Afghans would view delivering a province or two to the Taliban as an invasion, adds Reuters. In reaction, Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry refused the accusations, stating No reference was made to ceding of provinces to Taliban. Meanwhile, i n an interview with the BBC, Afghanistan army Chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi stated that the fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan government could be resolved in weeks if Pakistan was serious about the Afghan peace process and told the Taliban to halt the insurgency. Public uprisings against the Taliban have been on a rise in Afghanistan, reports Khaama Press. According to US officials, new antiTaliban movements involving local villagers took place in Afghan southern and eastern provinces, including Uruzgan and Nangarhar. These were followed by public uprisings in Ghazni and Logar provinces. ISAF spokesman Lt. Col. David Simons noted that the antiTaliban movements reflect the local populaces growing intolerance of Taliban influence and abuse, further adding that the upri sings serve as examples that Afghans are ready to rebel against Taliban tyranny and that the Taliban are losing their influence on the population, even in Pashtun areas. The Taliban dismissed the comments, stating that the uprisings are driven by a US and Afghan government covert action programme. The Norwegian government, one of the top donors to Kabul, has warned Afghanistan that it will reduce financial aid to the country due to the Afghan government's failure to implement reforms agreed during the Tokyo conference in 2012, reports The Oslo Times. The warning comes after various donor countries met in Kabul to discuss the progress in Afghanistan a year after the international community pledged USD 16 billion to the country. According to a statement issued by the Norwegian government, Norwegian a uthorities note with disappointment the slow and uneven progress that has characterised the follow-up to the commitment made [in Tokyo], further adding, Too few of the commitments have been adequately met We had expected a more determined political effort to establish the necessary electoral architecture. It should have been in place by now. According to a Transparency International survey, the Afghan judiciary and police constituted the largest bribe recipients of all public institutions in Afghanistan in 2012, highlights Tolo News. The report indicates that over sixty per cent of the Afghans perceived the judiciary as the most corrupt governmental body. In addition, 51 per cent of surveyed Afghans said they paid a bribe to the Afghan police at least once in 2012. The Afghan Supreme Court and the Ministry of Interior officials dismissed the findings, calling the report biased, false and incorrect. At the same time, the head of the High Office of Oversight and Anti -Corruption, Azizullah Ludin, confirmed the report conclusions, acknowledging that large-scale corruption does indeed exist within the Afghan judiciary and police. A number of other articles related to governance and rule of law appeared over the past month, including those below: The EU special envoy for Afghanistan Vygaudas Usackas assessed that the peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban may not yield a breakthrough before 2015, one year after international troops withdrawal from the country, reports Khaama Press. The comments came a day after the Taliban accused the Afghan government and the US of breaking promises and temporarily closed office in Qatar.

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According to a statement released by the Afghan embassy in Iran, twelve Afghan citizens were executed in Iranian prisons over drug smuggling charges, writes Khaama Press. Despite the Afghan governments repeated requests to suspend the execution of Afghan citizens, hundreds have been convicted over drug smuggling, facing either death penalty or life imprisonment. Presenting their recommendations to the Afghanistan Transition Secretariat and the High Peace Council (HPC), over 100 tribal elders and religious scholars (ulema) urged the Afghan government to advance their dialogue with Afghan people in order to deserve their confidence and trust on issues related to the countrys transition and peace efforts, reports United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Security & Force Protection

Francois Van

he US Department of Defence announced that Russias state agency Rosoboronexport was awarded another contract for the provision of thirty Mi-17 Hip helicopters to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)s Special Mission Wing, reports Khaama Press. According to US defence officials, the helicopters will be provided to the ANSF at a cost of USD 572.2 million and delivered by December 2014. The transport helicopters will be used for counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and special operations missions. Rosoboronexport was previously awarded another contract worth USD 367.5 million for the provision of 21 Mi-17V5s to the ANSF. However, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a report that the Afghan Air Force lacks the troops and expertise to operate and maintain the Russian-made helicopters acquired by the Pentagon, adds Associated Press. According to SIGAR, these shortcomings mean the helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft destined for the ANSF Special Mission Wing could be left sitting on runways in Afghanistan, rather than supporting critical missions, resulting in waste of US funds. The report recommended putting the purchases on hold until the Afghans develop the capacity to support the aircraft maintenance and operability. Furthermore, The Washington Times adds that the inability of the Afghan Air Force to operate its limited fleet of Russian made helicopters and planes severely affects the Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) capabilities, which have faced increasing causality rates in the country since the Afghan troops have taken over security from ISAF. In the meantime, coalition trainers are teaching the Afghan air force how to fly and maintain aircraft as well as secure airfields, reports The Washington Times in a separate article. An efficient air force is crucial for sustaining the 350,000 Afghan ground troops stationed at remote bases who will continue fighting the estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Taliban insurgents in the country long after coalition troops leave. There are currently 940 international trainers assigned to the Afghan Air Force support. Currently, the Afghan air force has roughly 6,400 members spread across three air wings, based in Kabul, Kandahar and Shindand, with detachments in Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat and Jalalabad. Also, 128 pilots are being trained while 98 are operational. The Air Force can now only field about half a dozen transport helicopter crews. For training and operations missions, the Afghan force has about one hundred aircraft: 26 Cessna 208B transport aircraft, 48 Mi-17 transport helicopters, six Mi-35 attack helicopters, six MD-530 training helicopters and six Cessna 182 fixed-wing training aircraft. Armed overmatch for Mi-35 crews, basic night-flying capabilities, close-support planes (A-29 Super Tucado) and cargo planes (C130) will be soon provided. Coalition officials hope to expand the air force to 8,000 personnel and 140 aircraft by 2016. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) confirms in its annual report that Afghanistan continues to remain the worlds top cultivator and producer of opium, reports Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE / RL). According to UNODC, Afghanistan supplied 75 per cent of the worlds illicit production in 2012. The report says that Afghanistan's drug industry affects more than one million people and the addiction rates are on the rise. Most of the country s opium is produced in the southern Helmand province. UN experts warn that these trends are worrying as the country is entering a key period in the next eighteen months with the drawdown of ISAF and the celebration of presidential elections, highlights the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). Most provincial counter-narcotics officials quoted by IRIN points to insufficient funding and the lack of widespread support (such as shelters and medical treatment centres) as the sources of the problem. Regarding the nature of the counter-narcotics policies undertaken in Afghanistan, experts says that for the last decade Western-backed initiatives in the country have largely focused on poppy farmers. Instead of alleviating the pressures that drive farmers to grow poppy in the first place, eradication programmes often consisted of poppy field destruction without providing alternative livelihood options for farmers. Experts recommend that after 2014, the Afghan authorities should take the ownership of the eradication programmes and comprehensively assume them under the broader policies of territorial control, institution-building, good governance and development while providing sustainable livelihood development support to farmers. The Taliban said they would continue their insurgency activities until all their demands are met and US forces leave Afghanistan, writes Khaama Press. The Taliban added that the opening of the new representation office in Qatar although now closed is evidence of their success on the battlefield. Likewise, they promised to continue attacks over Ramadan, rejecting an insurgent email as fake, allegedly sent by the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, promising a halt in violence over the coming Muslim holy month, writes Reuters. Mujahid said the holy month carried extra religious significance for insurgents as jihad has major rewards during Ramadan. The insurgent added that they would continue to empl oy all their fighting techniques to mount attacks on the enemy. At the same time, Afghan Interior Ministry (MoI) spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said that 299 Afghan police officers were killed between May and June and another 618 officers were injured, reports RFE/RL. Sediqqi said that is a 22 percent increase compared to the same month last year, basically as a result of the roadside bombs laid by the Taliban and due to Afghan forces taking the lead in all security operations. Sediqqi also stated 753 militants were killed and more than 300 arrested, while 180 civilians were killed in the same period. From a more general perspective, the Taliban orchestrated 730 suicide attacks in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012, making 16 July 2013 Page 4

them responsible for more attacks of that kind than any other group in the world, writes ToloNews in a special report. In the last two years alone, more than 820 people were killed and 2,866 more were injured in Taliban-claimed suicide attacks. During a ceremony in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced ANSF have taken over the leadership of security operations across the country from NATO-led forces on 15 June, reports RFE/RL. After the transition to full Afghan control over security and before the 2014 withdrawal, the 100,000 international forces still in the country are meant to play a supporting and training role for about 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police. On 19 June however, an Afghan Presidential Palace official said that the talks about the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Kabul and Washington were suspended following the establishment of the Taliban political office in Qatar with the support of the United States, says Khaama Press. While the US-Afghan relations have reached a deadlock, the US President Barack Obama considers now to entirely withdraw the US contingents from Afghanistan after 2014, following a zero option scenario, writes The Telegraph. However, the US President has not taken any clear decision yet on the post-2014 US troop presence in Afghanistan, says Reuters. Nonetheless, US officials said the zero option remains unlikely, as this option might be used as a leverage in order to force the Afghan President Karzai to eventually sign the bilateral security agreement, writes Reuters and The Christian Science Monitor.

Social & Strategic Infrastructure


uring the last weeks there has been new progress on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. The main breakthrough is that the four countries involved have agreed to form a company for the execution of the project by September 2013, reports The International News. Sources from the Indian Ministry of Petroleum said The [] project [] has gathered momentum with the Petroleum and Energy Ministers of the four nations agreeing to form a company by end September this year to execute the ambitious plan. The Asian Development Ba nk (ADB) will be the legal-technical consultant and will soon identify a company from a neutral country to drive the project. Due to the lack of multinational companies interested in making a proposal for the construction of the TAPI, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to build and operate the project has been created. The SPV, based in Dubai under the name of TAPI Ltd., will have an initial contribution of USD 20 million. According to sources, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan were of the view that the project could be built without the involvement of any multinational; however, India has repeatedly declared it does not want to be at the mercy of Afghanistan and Pakistan to ensure its gas supplies from the TAPI, adds The Hindu. According to US officials, there is a range of international oil companies interested in having a role project development and are currently negotiating with the Turkmen government, highlights Azernews. The main obstacle to attracting international energy players is their demands for a stake in the source of the project, the gas field of Galkynysh in Turkmenistan, according to another article in The Hindu. The Turkmen government has always refused to provide equity participation in the project. Nonetheless, the Turkmen government is now softening its approach and, recently, the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Marpadi Vereeppa Moily said, A shortlist of companies will be provided by the Turkmen Party to the Buyers by October/November, 2013 for consideration under competitive solicitation as the potential Consortium Leader for TAPI Ltd. Furthermore, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan signed a thirty year gas sales and purchase agreement for the TAPI project, writes Energy Global. During the first ten years of operation, Afghanistan will receive 17.6 billion cubic feet (bcf), an amount that will be gradually increased to 52 bcf in the following two decades. Once the gas pipeline becomes operational, the Afghan government will receive eight per cent of the total project revenues in the form of transit fees. This large quantity of natural gas received by Afghanistan will require the construction of more storage facilities to ensure standardised supply and distribution processes, says Pakistan Today. During the first ten years, the gas will be used to generate electricity and, after that, the gradual increase in supply will be destined to provide gas to households. The strategic importance of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan (TAT) railway is gaining momentum with other regional countries interested in joining the project, reports Trend. China, Iran and Kyrgyzstan might join the project in a later phase due to the common regional interests, according the Strategic Planning Institute (SPI) of the Turkmen Ministry of Economy. The future rail network will [] provide them with access to the markets of more distant states. Such routes will allow the continental and c losed Central Asian countries to fully realize their economic potential, adds the SPI. The TAT railway will open a new route which will connect South and Central Asia with global markets, reducing the length to the Baltic Sea through Russia by half. The SOI assesses Transit has become an important source of exports of services, foreign exchange revenues and a generator of more jobs, and recognises the role of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan as transit countries. In order to strengthen transit development several issues such as speed of delivery, safety of goods, information support and administrative barriers must be examined. Azernews recently reported that the three countries involved in the TAT railway expect to put it into operation by June 2015. The National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) has built eight microhydro power plants along the Karukh River in Herat province to provide electricity to hundreds of families in rural areas, reports a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) press release. In Herat, only 42 per cent of households have access to public electricity, a figure that falls to 8 per cent in rural areas. In these areas, the main source of energy to produce fuel, light and heat are firewood and the burning of animal dung. The NABDP, a joint programme by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) and the UNDP, acknowledged that access to energy in rural areas is a non-negotiable and, as a result, have installed eight microhydro plants in the area. One example is the project in Dost Mohammad village, where a microhydro power plant produces eight kilowatts of energy that provides each of the 110 local families enough energy for 4 light bulbs during the evening and the ability to run a small agricultural mill during the day. The microhydro power plant in Dost Mohammad will be run by an operator selected by the Community Development Council and 16 July 2013 Page 5

trained by the NABDP. The families will pay a monthly electricity usage tariff, which will be used to finance the salary for the operator (a community member) and maintenance of the plant. NABDP highlights the importance of this kind of projects by using the resources found in the village to meet electricity demand and provide better opportunities for education, health, lighting and access to water. A number of other social and strategic infrastructure issues emerged over the past four weeks, including those summarised below: Construction works at the Shah and Aros dam in Kabul province had to be halted, causing further delays in the project, due to heavy rocket shelling for three consecutive nights, reports Wadsam. Though the attacks have not left any casualties, they have psychologically affected our workers who are now hesitant to work on the site, said Shujauddin Ziaee, Afghan Deputy Minister of Energy and Water. The identity of the attackers is unknown and the Ministry of Energy and Water has sought a thorough investigation about the incident. The Shah and Aros dam will have a capacity to produce about two megawatts of electricity and irrigate 3,000 hectares of land. Kazakhastan has expressed its interest to invest in Afghanistan infrastructure in order to improve the trade ties between the two countries, reports Tolo News. Kazakhastan will focus its investments in transport infrastructure such as roads and railways that connect the two countries and onwards. Afghanistan imports flour, oil and gas from Kazakhstan and exports dry fruit. The two countries are signing a trilateral transit agreement with Turkmenistan to facilitate transit trade through that country. The Kabul Municipality has taken the initiative to construct a market for Afghan women within the city, reports Wadsam. The purpose of the market is for women entrepreneurs to promote and expand their businesses and become self-sustainable. Kabul Mayor Mohammad Younus Nawandish said the market will enable customers, mainly customers coming from abroad, to easily find Afghan handicrafts. Recent Readings & Resources The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security , UN General Assembly / Security Council, June 2013. Afghanistan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 17, UNOCHA, June 2013. Humanitarian Needs Assessment and Engagement Strategy, European Union/Danish Refugee Council, January 2013. ECHO Factsheet Humanitarian Air Services, European Commission, July 2013. Afghanistan Complex Emergency (Factsheet 5, Fiscal Year 2013) , USAID, July 2013. Summary of DFIDs Work in Afghanistan 2011 -2015, DFID, June 2013. ECHO Factsheet, European Commission, July 2013. Afghanistan. Common Humanitarian Action Plan Mid-Year Review, United Nations, July 2013. Afghanistan Price Watch, FEWS NET, May 2013. Lessons Learned on Traditional Resolution in Afghanistan, United States institute of Peace, April 2013 by Erica Gaston, Akbar Sarwari and Arne Strand. Natural Resource Management and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan, United Nations, July 2013. National Priority Program: Health for All Afghans, Ministry of Public Health, July 2012.

Maps Overview of Natural Disasters: January June 2013, UNOCHA, June 2013. Emergency shelter and non-food items cluster, UNHCR, May 2013. Ongoing USG Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan, USAID, July 2013. Afghanistan Price Bulletin, FEWS NET & WFP, June 2013.

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ENGAGE WITH US 16 July 2013

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