IEA adopts humanitarian declaration in Geneva: Geneva Call
The Khaama Press | 11th February
Switzerland non-governmental organization, Geneva Call in a series of Twitter posts announced that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan adopted humanitarian declaration after high-level discussions with the NGO’s team.
As per the Twitter posts, the declaration covers crucial issues including the protection and provision of healthcare and education for all Afghans, the respect of humanitarian, and safeguard of the environment and cultural heritage.

India, Sri Lanka explore ways to further strengthen the close and friendly ties
Colombo Page | 8th February
At the invitation of External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka, Prof. G.L. Peiris, accompanied by a 2-member official delegation, visited India on an official visit from 06-08 February 2022.
This is the first visit of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister to India in his current term.
EAM met the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka for delegation level talks 07 February 2022.

Bangladesh foreign secy to visit India from 23-25 Feb
Prothom Alo | 9th February
Bangladesh foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen will be visiting India from 23 to 25 February at an invitation of his Indian counterpart Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
Shringla has extended the invitation to Momen during his two-day official visit to Bangladesh in December last year.
Foreign secretary Momen will arrive in Chennai, the southern part of India on 23 February from Dhaka where he will formally inaugurate Bangladesh's deputy high commission, a source familiar with the visit told BSS Wednesday.

AFGHANISTAN

Struggles to address economic collapse, UN’s $32 million in cash arrives in Kabul
The Khaama Press | 8th February
Afghanistan’s Central Bank-Da Afghanistan Bank- in a statement said that the United Nations’ news batch of $32 million in cash arrived in Kabul, February 8, 2022.
DAB’s statement reads that the money came to Afghanistan through Kabul International Airport and was delivered to Afghanistan’s International Bank.
The statement further reads that the IEA welcomes humanitarian assistance in all forms that help the impoverished Afghan people.

Over half of Covid-19 centers halted operations amid rising infections
Afghanistan Times | 7th February
Afghan health officials said that more than 20 Covid-19 care centers have halted operations as since the fall of the former government due to financial and technical problems.
The closure of the at least 21 Covid-19 care centers comes as the doctors are alarming of rapid increase of the new variant of the virus across the country.
The ministry of public health warned that if the international community doesn’t support the Afghan health sector, the health system in Afghanistan will plunge into crisis.
 

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh, Japan celebrate 50th anniv of diplomatic ties in Tokyo
Bangladesh Post | 10th February
Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Japan with due fervor. 
The Embassy organized a reception in a local reputed hotel- the New Otani. The venue has a historical connection to the long-standing friendly relations between Bangladesh and Japan. 
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman stayed at this hotel during the historical and first official visit to Japan in 1973. 

88pc Covid patients in Bangladesh infected with Omicron: Survey
Prothom Alo | 10th February
Eighty eight per cent of the total Covid-19 patients of the country were infected with Omicron variant while 12 per cent with Delta during 29 June, 2021 to 9 February this year, says a study.
Supervisor of the Genome Sequencing Research Project professor Md Sharfuddin Ahmed, vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), revealed the findings of an ongoing study at a press briefing.

Health minister: 75% of target population fully vaccinated
Dhaka Tribune | 10th February
Seventy-five percent of the target population have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the country, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
“Already 100 million doses of vaccine have been administered and 75% people out of 120 million people have been brought under the vaccination programme,” he said while speaking at a programme on the occasion of Cancer Day at the Cancer Research Institute in the city.
 

BHUTAN

Omicron not to be taken in lightly: health experts
Kuensel | 10th February
Following some people sending voice messages from the isolation centres about the Omicron variant being mild, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reminded people to refrain from circulating such messages among the public.
In a recent incident, a woman sent a voice message from one of the isolation centres saying that Omicron is mild and there is nothing to worry about.
In her message, she said Omicron was just like a common flu. She said that even children recover from the fever in about two days.
 

MALDIVES

MDP to propose a bill aiming to stop “India Out” movement
The Edition | 10th February
Parliamentary group of ruling MDP approves to submit a bill to stop opposition leader and former president Abdullah Yamin’s “India Out” movement in light of the potential negative impact on the country’s foreign relations.
In an interview with Mihaaru, MDP’s parliamentary group leader Ali Azim stated that the bill will be proposed to the parliament next week.
"We passed the draft bill by submitting it to the Parliament as it stands, and bringing necessary changes to it during the committee stage," said Azim.

COVID-19: 1,406 new cases; 16,208 active cases
Sun | 10th February
Health Protection Agency (HPA), announced 1,406 additional cases of COVID-19, increasing confirmed cases in Maldives to 155,917.     
According to HPA, the 1,406 new cases include; 307 cases from the greater Male’ region, 891 cases from residential islands outside Male’ and 69 cases from operational resorts.
Meanwhile, 1,292 additional COVID-19 patients were confirmed to have made full recoveries over the last 24 hours, increasing total recoveries to 139,409.  
  

MYANMAR

Myanmar Junta Crony Uses Russia, Ukraine Military Ties to Amass Fortune
The Irrawaddy | 10th February
When Min Aung Hlaing became the armed forces chief in 2011, he accelerated the modernization of the navy and air force—a move that has had the concomitant effect of rapidly enriching military cronies and businesses owned by relatives of generals.
One of the main beneficiaries is U Kyaw Min Oo, the owner of Sky Aviator Co. Still in his 40s, he has amassed a fortune over the past decade supplying spare parts for jet fighters and helicopters purchased by Myanmar’s military from Russia and Ukraine.

Myanmar Faces COVID-19 Spike as Junta Prepares Ceremonies
The Irrawaddy | 9th February
Myanmar faces its sharpest spike in COVID-19 infections since December last year with more than 1,000 new cases reported as the junta has failed to prevent the spread of the virus.
A total of 1,145 confirmed cases were reported on Tuesday night. Myanmar has been in chaos since the last year’s coup. The junta-controlled Ministry of Heath stated that no new COVID-19 deaths were reported in the past 16 days.
 

NEPAL

About 1.1 million children are engaged in labour in Nepal
The Himalayan Times | 11th February
Some improvement has been witnessed in reducing child labour over the last one decade in Nepal. However, a report has found about 1.1 million children still working in areas such as brick kilns, carpet factories and entertainment business, among others.
A joint report prepared by the Central Bureau of Statistics of the National Planning Commission and International Labour Organization (ILO) states that nearly 1.1 million children are involved in child labour of which 0.2 million children are involved in its worst forms.

Government dials down annual budget, once again, after failing to spend
The Kathmandu Post | 11th February
The government has trimmed down the annual budget by 5.3 percent after realising that it wouldn't be able to spend the amounts set aside for this fiscal year.
This translates to a reduction of Rs86.55 billion in the annual financial plan for 2021-22, ending mid-July 2022.
The revised budget is now Rs1.54 trillion, said Janardan Sharma, presenting a mid-term review of the annual budget on Thursday.
 

PAKISTAN

PM Imran dismisses West’s suspicion about CPEC
The Express Tribune | 11th February
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday dismissed the “suspicion” of the Western countries about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Gwadar port, saying that both the projects were a great opportunity for regional development.
In an interview with Dr Eric Li, Director of the Advisory Committee of the China Institute of Fudan University, the prime minister said that the projects would prove beneficial not only to Pakistan and China, but also to the entire region.

Most Pakistanis have developed short-term immunity against Covid: expert
Dawn | 11th February
While a large number of Pakistanis have developed short-term immunity against Covid-19, ‘Stealth Omicron (BA.2)’, a sub-variant of Omicron, is rapidly spreading in Scandinavian countries and will reach Pakistan, sooner or later.
During the past 24 hours, another 3,914 people were infected and 47 succumbed to the coronavirus. The national positivity was recorded at 7.1 per cent with 1,716 patients in critical condition.

Pakistan, Oman constructively engaged in deepening defence ties: Chairman JCSC
The Nation | 11th February
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza while on official visit to Oman called on leadership of Oman including Sayyid Shihab Bin Tariq Bin Taimour Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Defence Affairs, General Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Namani, Minister of the Royal Office, 
Vice Admiral Abdullah Bin Khamis Al Raisi, Chief of Staff Sultan’s Armed Forces, Rear Admiral Saif Bin Nasser Bin Mohsin Al Rahbi, Commander of Royal Navy of Oman and Air Vice Marshal Khamis Hammad Al Ghafri, Commander of Royal Air Force of Oman.
 

SRI LANKA

EU strongly urges SL to lift forthwith import restrictions
Daily Mirror | 9th February
The European Union (EU) strongly urged Sri Lanka to lift forthwith import restrictions preventing many European products from entering its market.
During the Joint Commission meeting by the European Union and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka clarified that it has imposed temporary import restrictions on non-essential items, strictly as an interim measure, due to a foreign exchange shortfall resulting from the impact of the global pandemic.

Hambantota International Port broke new ground in 2021
Colombo Page | 9th February
Hambantota International Port Group said the year 2021 was a watershed year for Hambantota International Port (HIP) with the port’s activities spreading in several new directions, which has created a unique ecosystem for economic prosperity for Sri Lanka.
The port worked to provide opportunities for maritime trade and investment on the East-West routes of the Indian Ocean. HIP which is slated to become a topnotch multipurpose port is uniquely positioned to be a catalyst for the industrial development of the south of Sri Lanka through its industrial park situated within the port and adjacent development activities earmarked by the government of Sri Lanka.

 

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