By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in a speech, officially inaugurated Government’s food distribution Program “Distarkhan e Millie”.
The inauguration ceremony which was held in “Char Chinar” of Presidential palace, First lady, vice presidents, cabinet members, governors and representatives of donor organizations had also participated through video conference, a presidential statement said.
At the beginning of this ceremony Second Vice President, Sarwar Danish said: The covid 19 pandemic has created serious challenges and crisis at the national, and international level. But after passing of four months from spread of this virus and somehow causalities that the pandemic had, today with the hard work and dedications of Governments’ Leadership, Ministry of Public Health, timely public awareness raising and cooperation of people, the situation is under control. Saying that a large of number of people will be covered and reached under “Distarkhan-e- Millie” program and also thanking the international partners, he added: these donations are not enough and we still need assistance and cooperation in medical materials equipping and other humanitarian aids. Second Vice president mentioned about some complains in bread distribution program and said: in food distribution program we will use from pervious experiences. He added: The government leadership will not tolerate any kind of misuses, and we are calling on all people to monitor this process seriously.
Meanwhile Amrullah Saleh, first vice president thanked President for budget adjustment And predicts about fighting effectively with corona virus pandemic and he said: The food distribution program “Dastarkhan e millie” will be implemented in two phases; at first in 34 provinces, 123 districts, 12896 villages and totally 1.67 million families, that this phase will be with costed 86 million USD. The commodities in first phase includes wheat, rice, oil, bean and handwashing soap that will be distributed to people. VP Saleh said that the second phase will also be in 34 provinces that will include 235 districts, 21842 villages and 2.5 million families and the budget of second phase is estimated 158 million dollars that in these two phases will cover around 90 present of the population in the country. Frist vice president appreciated the assistance of international partners and said: Afghan government have the responsibility of implication and monitoring of this program, while all civil society organizations, elders and scholars can also monitor this program.
Later, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in his speech, inaugurated officially this program and said: in our lexicon, we are sensitive with the words of poverty and poorness, and people may not like it. He added: poverty is not an incident, but it is a tragedy. A responsible and accountable government takes the pain of its people very serious, act accordance to address it and make it clear that there is a social contract between the nation and the state. President said that the social contract, our religious beliefs, and specifically the heritages of our Righteous Caliphs have always thought us that we should be aware of people’s programs, be responsible and address it. President Ghani mentioned, today is the day by inauguration of this program we took another step with accordance to social contract. Our ultimate goal for the next year is to pay the money directly to families whose address, identity and location should be clear. President Ghani said: The choice we took today is the second choice, meaning that we will go forward through cooperation of councils and organization. Today we have trusted the nation and people, so they are capable of using money and giving the right to rightful person. President Ghani added that the accountability method will be revised, and afterward the government will monitor, and the people will distribute the food packages. If anything injustice occur, the complaining doors are open. President Ghani appreciated the hard works of Mr. Amrullah Saleh in distribution of bread program and said: You have proven that it is not essential the government programs should always be costly, and on the other hand, that you and late Mr. Ghazanfar consolidated the free market capacity. President Ghani said: The responsibility of a responsible government is, if there be any emergency situation or starvation threat the life of people, their government accept some risks of wastage, and each day make such programs more efficient and easy. He also thanked Danish and other relevant entities for management and awareness raising about fight against corona virus. President also said that afterward the development programs of Afghanistan will not be based of donation of other countries, but we should use our own resources. He added despite 90 percent of our population is under poverty of 2 dollars, but we have the sense of a strong nation. President appreciated the cooperation of international organizations and countries and said that a large amount of the money were from technical parts that had no movement, but we could save some amount and use it in these programs. He stressed that if anyone misuse from the money of poor people, it is not only betrayal to people but also Allah and we are committed to prevent it.
President Ghani also spoke about positive impacts of security compact program and said: today was the first day I saw the security report and there were no case of any security incidents in Kabul city. This is the result of people’s cooperation in identifying hundreds of criminals. President said that it is insult for the nation that criminals have place in offices of ministries. Criminals, specifically children parliament members should first take responsibility themselves that their child are not committing crime. And if their child is grown in such manner, they should apology form the people. He added that government is implementing their agenda very seriously and those people who are firing gun or threats people, will be prosecuted according to law. President Ghani mentioned that: there is a united leadership with a national view point in the country, and in the coming weeks and months all programs will be implemented nationwide. President Ghani asked the people assist with Central Statistic Authority by identifying the number of population and where they live, the number of youths, elders. This statistic will help the government to predict future programs and what they can do to better reach people. At the end, president Ghani mentioned that every Afghan institute in Afghanistan has the right to monitor the “Distarkhan e Millie” program and he added: We have the ultimate goal to reach our people though secure ways of transferring resources directly into their phone number, with specific address and identity, and I am sure that day will come soon.