International community gathers to support Herat’s development
HERAT - The international community is committed to supporting Herat throughout 2016, said UN officials and others gathered at the International Stakeholders’ Forum this week in Afghanistan’s western province.
Khalil Osman, head of UNAMA’s Herat office, and the Province's Governor, Mohammad Asif Rahimi, co-chaired the forum, which was set up to discuss support to the province’s development and to strengthen the relationship between the local government and the international community.
The forum, supported by UNAMA's Civil Affairs team, brought together representatives from Iran, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India, along with national and international NGOs, women’s networks, civil society groups, and officials from several UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes.
“The United Nations is committed to continue its support, not only in fund-related projects, but more importantly in bringing knowledge and expertise to support the local capacity development in the province,” said Dr. Osman, who noted that the UN implemented 138 development projects in Herat in 2015.
In his comments, Governor Rahimi said the forum provided a good opportunity to seek the support of the international community to help alleviate the province’s fiscal gaps. He painted a bright picture of the province’s future, saying that despite the existing needs in many sectors, the province has made significant improvements in some vital areas.
“These projects include the construction of the Herat bypass road, the Herat-Chisht-e-Sharif road, the work on a part of the railroad connecting Herat City with Khaf in Khorasan-e Razavi in Iran, and the commencement of the TAPI gas pipeline project, among others,” he added.
Presenting the provincial development plan for 2016, the head of the Department of Economy, Nasir Aswadi, told those in attendance that the planned development projects will benefit hundreds of thousands of Afghans in need.
Similarly, the Director of Herat’s Department of Women’s Affairs, Mrs. Jamshidi, presented her department’s 2016 Action Plan, which includes establishing women’s councils, offering vocational skills training and improving access to health and education for Afghan women.
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and relevant international and local non-governmental organizations to assist in the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights provisions of the Afghan Constitution and international treaties to which Afghanistan is a State party, in particular those regarding the full enjoyment by women of their human rights.