Afghanistan Current Affairs

World Humanitarian Day: 19 August

The World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed every year on 19 August to recognize work of humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives. The observance of the day provides opportunity to celebrate spirit that inspires humanitarian work around globe. It pays tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service and also to rally support for people affected by crisis around the world.

The campaign theme for this year is #NotATarget. It aims to draw attention towards the millions of innocent civilians affected by armed conflict every day, who are forced to flee or hide due to conflicts and wars around the world. This year’s campaign demands world leaders to do everything in their power to protect all civilians in conflict

Background

The World Humanitarian Day was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing a resolution A/63/L.49 in 2008.The resolution was sponsored by Sweden and was passed by UNGA on Strengthening of Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the UN.  The day marks death of then Special Representative of Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues who were killed in bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003. Since 2009, this day is observed annually by humanitarian community to ensure safety and security of humanitarian aid workers and for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crisis.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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TAPI gas pipeline: Work on Afghanistan section begins

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have ceremonially broke ground on Afghanistan section of ambitious, multi-billion dollar TAPI gas pipeline. The ceremony was attended by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and his Turkmenistan counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India’s Minister of state for external affairs Shri M. J. Akbar.

TAPI gas pipeline

TAPI gas pipeline project is proposed trans-country natural gas pipeline from Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan. The abbreviation TAPI itself indicate its member countries- Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The pipe line connects central Asia with south Asia covering 1,840 km.

The pipeline begins from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh field (formally known as South Yoiotan Osman) that has gas reserves are 16 trillion cubic feet. The estimated construction cost of the project is 10 billion US dollars and is being funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The pipeline has capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd). Both India and Pakistan will get supply of about 38 mmscmd whereas Afghanistan will get 14 mmscmd supply of natural gas. The pipeline will begin pumping natural gas from Turkmenistan’s giant Galkynysh gas field by the beginning of 2020 and supply life is expected to last for period of 30 years.

The pipeline runs through Galkynysh field (Turkmenistan), Afghanistan’s Herat and Kandahar province, Pakistan’s Multan via Quetta and ends at Fazilka in Punjab (India). For its security, an inter-government joint security task force (JSTF) has been recommended to serve as  nucleus of safety provided by security consultants.

Significance

The TAPI Project is considered as an important initiative of these four countries to connect energy rich Central Asia with energy starved South Asia. It marks a new dawn of economic engagement through regional connectivity by economically integrating region stretching from Bay of Bengal to Caspian Sea.

From India’s perspective, TAPI Project will provide an alternative supply source of gas with dependable reserves leading to enhanced energy security. It will further diversify the fuel basket to the benefit of Indian economy as it would be used mainly in power, fertilizer and city gas sectors.

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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