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The second day of the start-up workshop for the Rural Microfinance and Livestock Programme begun with good news. Our two Afghan participants that were held at the Dubai airport have been released thanks to assistance of the United Nations Security Office in Dubai and the Afghan Embassy. Here they are – Sayed Kefayatullah (left) and Nasrullah Mohmand – tired but happy to be free again!

According to the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, Afghanistan ranked 117th out of 159 countries. Irene Li from IFAD was invited to present IFAD’s policy on fraud and corruption. Some extensive discussion followed the presentation regarding anti-corruption measures, responsibility for reporting and handling corruption cases. According to Habib Ur Reman Mayar, Coordination Officer at the Ministry of Finance and Aid, the government can reduce the likelihood of corruption with the help of donor community. “Government can only be held accountable for the sound use of funds that come though their treasury”, he said.
Given the selection of service providers such as FAO and ICARDA that both have a zero tolerance policy and stringent internal control mechanisms, we are confident that IFAD’s own anti-corruption policy will be adhered to.

Ricardo Luna, Administrative and Finance Officer from FAO shared an interesting experience of insuring the transportation of items such as seeds, tools and fertilizers to difficult locations. In the past, transporters did not have any insurance for the goods they were transporting and, in the cases where these goods would be stolen (as often happens in Afghanistan), they refused to take responsibility for the loss. To minimize risks from loss or damage of transported goods, especially in insecure provinces, last month FAO hired a transportation company that has insurance with a Dutch Insurance company. In case of accidents, the transportation company is not responsible for the damage or loss of goods.


The participants also discussed arrangements for the programme’s M&E system. Given a variety of service providers it was agreed that a common approach is needed to ensure that the programme is able to capture, monitor and report the right information. Every six months, each service provider will have to prepare a progress report which will then be consolidated by the PCU by using a common reporting format. In addition, an annual progress reports will be prepared according to a template to be developed soon by the PCU.

The rest of the day was devoted to fine-tuning the logframe and agreeing on administrative and implementation arrangements... and celebrating the birthday of Javed Rizvi from ICARDA. Happy Birthday Javed!

Interview with Abdul Latif Zahed, National Programme Coordinator

IFAD is promoting the rights of women and improving their access to social and economic opportunities. Since this is the first IFAD-supported programme in Afghanistan, do you foresee any problems or resistance from both men and women?

Watch the video:

video

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