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Online PPD on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Women Businesses and Post COVID-19 Measures in Kabul

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Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI), and Harakat – Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility Organization jointly held a Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on the impact of COVID-19 on Women Businesses and Post COVID-19 Measures on May 5, 2020. The event took place virtually via Zoom App due to Coronavirus spread.

In this PPD, the leadership of AWCCI, Businesswomen from the different sectors, high-ranking government officials, including Mr. Abdul Karim Malikyar, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce (MoIC), Mr. Shakib Sharifi, General Director of Plan and Programs Coordination of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), Ms. Mahnaz Anwari, the Director of Private Sector in Ministry of Economy (MoEc), Mr. Usman Hejran, the Advisor to the Minister of Economy (MoEc), and representatives of International Organizations such as Women’s Economic Empowerment Rural Development Program (WEERDP), Citizen Charter National Priority Program (CCNPP), Women for Women International (WFWI), Afghanistan Value Chain – High Value Chain (AVC-HVC), DACCAR Women Empowerment Program, and War Child Canada (WCC) Livelihood – Program, actively participated. The aim of this PPD was to discuss major challenges of businesswomen that include the collapse of businesses, suspension of women’s economic activities, limitation in the exports of women products through borders, ports, and air corridors, lack of buyers and markets for protective suits, masks and medical gowns which is dire need in COVID-19 pandemic, paying rents and salaries, and lack of sufficient places to consider social-distance in business operations and particularly production.

Following that, plans and measures such as AWCCI’s Survey Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on women businesses with the recommendations on supportive packages for women that has been shared with H.E. President, Government and International Organizations; the Joint Resolution by Chambers and Private Sector on short and long-term challenges in COVID-19 pandemic; MAIL’s plans on high tariffs on import commodities for encouraging people to buy and support internal products, and facilitating buying processed (food) products from private sector giving preference to women by the Ministries of Defence and Interior Affairs; MoEc’s drafted policy on Supportive Packages; MoIC’s plans and efforts on exports of women products through boarders, ports and air corridors, and on import of raw material for production, food and medical supplies from neighboring countries, were presented.

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