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MoRRD launches maintenance program to counter joblessness

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By Farhad Naibekhel-KABUL: Following the national employment program recently announced by President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani to create jobs, Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MoRRD) has launched the first phase of maintenance program to provide 210,000 people with employment in 12 provinces.

Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Nasir Ahmad Durani, said that the first phase of the maintenance and protection program would be implemented in 39 districts of 12 provinces across the country.

Speaking at a press conference here he said that the first phase of this project would create 5.25 million work days. Around 210,000 villagers would get short -term job opportunity in the rural areas.

The program will cover Kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman, Baghlan, Kunduz, Balkh, Faryab, Jawzjan, Khost, Kandahar, Herat and Farah provinces.

He highlighted that currently the ministry allocated $35 million for the first phase of the maintenance projects.

He said that 430 engineers and educated people were hired to implement the program, adding that merit would be strictly followed in the recruitment process.

The maintenance program would comprise of those projects that need to be rehabilitated and could create enough jobs.  The projects will include infrastructure schemes such as road, irrigation canals, and water reservation maintenances, he added.

MoRRD will run the maintenance program by considering weather, security and unemployment rate in the provinces and the first phase will focus on warm climate areas, he mentioned.

Minister claimed that MoRRD would expand the maintenance program to all provinces in the near future.

He said that in the second phase of the maintenance program, 15,000 villages will be covered and 375,000 people will get short term job opportunities. In the third phase the projects will cover 36,000 villages where 900,000 people will get short-term employment opportunity, nationwide.