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World Bank donates $1.2m to support Afghan micro-business

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The World Bank vowed to donate $1.2 million in a program that encourages and supports Afghan micro-business.

The program carried out with the cooperation of the labor ministry, plans to help 2,500 entrepreneurs in three provinces, paying 500 dollars to each, Afghan officials said.

The program began Monday with paying 262 entrepreneurs in Kabul.

“The program aims to expand labor market through providing financial and technical cooperation, deputy labor minister Ahmad Shah Salehi told reporters.

He said that the program would be conducted tentatively in Kabul, Balkh and Nangarhar provinces, followed by all provinces of the country.

He remarked that the ministry and World Bank received proposals with work plans from 1,500 entrepreneurs from Kabul province. “After the evaluation, 524 eligible entrepreneurs were selected to be listed in the program.”

“At least 30 percent of the mentioned entrepreneurs are women and this program would pave the ground for them to improve their family economic condition,” Salehi added.

He acknowledged that some foreign individuals came to the country and grabbed the work market.

“In a bid to expand and enhance the skills of small entrepreneurs, we conducted this program to support financially and technically the entrepreneurs in the market,” he mentioned.

He stressed that if the experimental program succeeds, it would be launched in to 34 provinces.

According to him, there is no exact information about labor market in the country; hence the ministry of labor plans to conduct survey and its result will be released within the next three months.

Officials in the ministry of labor promised that in the near future 2,000 businesswomen will receive financial supports for improvement of their trades by the ministry.

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