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Japan pledges $1.3m for demining, veterinary training center

Kabul: Japan has announced the contribution of almost $1.3 million for two demining projects in central Parwan, Panjsher provinces and a Training Center for field veterinary professionals in Paktia province, according to a statement from the embassy of Japan.

A ceremony for signing the contracts was held at the Japanese embassy here. Mr. Keiichi Hara, Charge d’Affaires at the embassy of Japan, signed the Grant Contract with Mr. Kefayatullah Eblagh, Director, Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), Mr. Fazel Karim Fazel, Director, Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR) and Dr. Said Gul Safi, President, Afghanistan Veterinary Association (AVA) for these new projects with a total amount of $1,271,646.00.

The ceremony was witnessed by representatives from the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). 

These two mine clearance projects would be implemented in Parwan and Panjsher provinces under Japan’s assistance scheme “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GAGP),” the statement said.

Successful implementation of these projects would clear 1,526,382 square meters of minefields and battlefields in mentioned provinces.

These projects would benefit more than 5,000 households in Parwan and Panjsher provinces. The area free from landmines and explosive remnants of war in these provinces would provide safe grounds for local residents to conduct their daily activities.

“The cleared areas will be used for agriculture, animals’ grazing and safe movements of local residents and people passing Kabul - Mazar-e-Sharif highway.” 

“Construction of Afghanistan Veterinary Association Training Center in Gardez city of Paktia province is also supported under the GAGP. The grant will be used for construction of the training center that will help improving the professional capacity of the field veterinarians and para-vets working in Veterinary Field Units (VFUs) in Khost, Paktika and Paktia provinces ensuring the better health of animals and ultimately the public health by providing safe and quality products of animals’ origin.”

Keiichi Hara, Charge d’Affaires at  the Embassy of Japan said:  “Mine clearance sets a basic condition for safer living premises and development activities such as infrastructure, agriculture and livestock which ultimately contributes to improve local and national economy.”  

He further added that “Construction of AVA training centre” is also one of the important projects towards the improvement of the agriculture and livestock sectors of Afghanistan. This training centre will provide the capacity-building courses to the field veterinarians and para-vets working in Veterinary Field Units (VFUs) of Paktia, Khost and Paktika provinces. We hope, through opening the first-ever AVA training centre in the South-East area in the country, the project will contribute to combating animals diseases especially causing public health concerns in Afghanistan.”  

Japan has so far contributed more than 6.57 billion USD to Afghanistan’s nation-building efforts since 2001, in various fields including security, political process, education, health, culture, humanitarian assistance, agriculture, infrastructure and its capacity development.