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

Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI), Office of AWCCI in Kandahar province and Harakat – Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility Organization (H-AICFO) jointly held an online Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on COVID-19 Impacts on Women Businesses and Post COVID-19 Measures on May 19, 2020. The event took place virtually via Zoom App due to Coronavirus spread.

In this public private dialogue, the leadership of AWCCI Board of the head office, leadership of AWCCI of the South Zone-Kandahar and high ranking-officials from Kandahar governor office, including Mr. Matiullah Shirzad, the Sector Director of Governor’s Office, Mr. Hanifullah Hanifi, the Director of Urban Development and Land, Mr. Sayed Hafizullah Sayedi, the Director of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Mr. Faridullah Habib, the Deputy Director of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Asadullah Amin, Head of Private Sector Development, Mr. Noorullah representative of ACCI Kandahar, Mr. Farid Ahmad, representative of the National Procurement Authority, Mr. Ershad Ahmad Sarpaas, representatives of International Organizations such as Women’s Economic Empowerment Rural Development Program (WEERDP), Ms. Gulali Shirzai and Ms. Nazifa Haidari Nawrozi, from gender department, Ms. Shafiqa Mayar, representative of the Afghanistan Reconstruction and Development Agency and dozens of businesswomen in the Kandahar province actively participated.

The aim of this PPD was to discuss major challenges of businesswomen in general and COVID-19 Pandemic that include the collapse of businesses, suspension of women’s economic activities, business closures, lack of market for stocked commodities, lack of market for fresh fruits, lack of market for handcrafts, rising prices of raw material, limitation in the exports of women products through borders, ports, and air corridors, lack of buyers and markets for protective suits, masks which are the dire need in COVID-19 pandemic, paying rents and salaries, and receiving information about those lands that were given to businesswomen in a presidential decree.

Following that, plans and measures such as: 25% preference for domestic products  and 5% to women  products  in the National Procurement Policy, and to share businesswomen’s suggestions with government entities and international organizations by the Governor’s Office Sector, Poultry project, distribution of agricultural seeds, and agriculture management project including distribution of solar drying machines for fruits, construction of cold storage facilities for agricultural products by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Extensive cooperation in the process of allocation of land for Women’s Industrial Park through the decree from President Ghani in the meeting with AWCCI leadership in Kabul and province in the month of April and by the Directorate of Urban Development and Land, were presented.