World Bank to Resume Three Major Projects in Afghanistan
The Khaama Press | 20th April
World Bank is all set to resume three major projects worth $450 million in Afghanistan after being halted in reaction to the closure of girls’ schools by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Reuters has cited its anonymous sources in the bank saying that the projects are in the sectors of health, agriculture, and livelihood but the one in the educational sector is yet to get started.

President Solih: Defense cooperation integral to Maldives-India relationship
Sun | 20th April
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Tuesday said that defence cooperation was an integral aspect of the Maldives-India relationship.
Speaking during the meeting held at the President’s Office with the Chief of the Naval Staff of India, Admiral Radhakrishnan Hari Kumar, the President went on to note that military cooperation between both countries has increased over the past three years.

IMF says any loan to Sri Lanka requires debt sustainability
Daily Mirror | 21st April
The International Monetary Fund said discussions with Sri Lanka on a potential IMF loan program are at an early stage and any deal would require "adequate assurances" that the island country's debts can be put on a sustainable path.
In a statement emailed to Reuters, IMF Sri Lanka Mission Chief Masahiro Nozaki said that IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva discussed lending options and policy plans with a Sri Lankan delegation.

 

SRI LANKA

Health Sector: SLMA sounds dire warning
The Island | 21st April
The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) expressed grave concern about the shortage of drugs, vaccines, and essential equipment required, that are more than likely to contribute to increasing morbidity and mortality here.
President, SLMA Prof. Samath D. Dharmaratne and Honorary Secretary, SLMA Prof. Ishan de Zoysa said that Sri Lanka was currently facing the worst economic and political crisis experienced since independence, which has brought the country into a state of near bankruptcy.

Human Rights Watch calls on government to promptly investigate police shooting an unarmed protester
Colombo Page | 20th April
Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the government of Sri Lanka to promptly conduct an investigation into yesterday’s killing of an unarmed protester after police opened fire at the people protesting against the fuel prices hike and shortages.
The shooting in Rambukkana, a town near Kandy in central Sri Lanka on April 19, 2022 by the police also injured 14 more civilians.
 

PAKISTAN

Alvi, Shehbaz meet amid ‘tug of war’
The Express Tribune | 20th April
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday held a meeting with President Dr Arif Alvi for the first time since the former’s ascension to power after ousting former premier Imran Khan.
The two discussed the current political and economic situation of the country, besides holding consultations over national issues and constitutional issues, including the appointment of four governors.

PM For Elevating Pak-UK Ties To Strategic Level
The Nation | 21st April
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said Pakistan highly valued its relations with the UK, which were based on historical linkages and convergent interests on a broad range of issues. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasised the importance of enhanced trade and investment ties between Pakistan and the United Kingdom and the need for elevating the relationship to a strategic level. PM Shehbaz Sharif was talking to British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner, who called on him.

In first visit to Pakistan, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar meets political leadership
The News | 20th April
The Congresswoman is on a four-day visit to Pakistan — April 20-24 — where apart from having meetings with the political leadership in Islamabad, she will visit Lahore and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to have a greater understanding of Pakistan's cultural, social, political, and economic potential, the PM's Office said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister, during their meeting at the PM Office, warmly welcomed her on her first-ever visit to Pakistan and appreciated her courage of convictions and political struggle.

Ahsan laments slow progress on CPEC projects
Dawn | 21st April
Terming the China-Pakistan Economic Corri­dor (CPEC) a top priority, Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the sluggish progress on CPEC-related projects.
The minister showed displeasure over the waste of time and resources over the last four years at a meeting he presided over to review the progress on CPEC projects. The meeting was attended by secretaries of various ministries.

 

AFGHANISTAN

Concerns Mount Over Malnourished Children in Afghanistan
TOLO News | 21st April
Following global concern about the poor economic situation in Afghanistan, Save the Children in a recent report said that Afghanistan is facing its worst food crisis, with 5 million children on the brink of starvation.
According to the organization, about two in three children in Afghanistan – or 12 million – whose families depend on farming to survive, are struggling to get enough to eat daily due to the country’s worst drought in decades and are facing forecasts of below-average rains this wet season.

Afghan Ambassador at UN Complains Over Pakistan’s Airstrikeon Afghan Soil
Afghanistan Times | 20th April
The Chargé d’Affaires of Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Naseer Ahmad Faiq made an official complaint over the Pakistani military’s airstrikes on Khost and Kunar provinces, a statement said.
He made the complain following strong domestic and international reactions including protests over Pakistani airstrikes on some parts of Kunar and Khost provinces, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, chargé d’affaires of the Afghanistan permanent mission to the UN, in a tweet said he has lodged an official complaint about Pakistan airstrikes with the UN Security Council.
 

BANGLADESH

Bangladeshi investors keen to invest in India: Tipu
Bangladesh Post | 20th April
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that the Bangladeshi investors are interested to invest in India especially in West Bengal since the government has recently simplified the process for making investment abroad.
"As a result, the Bangladeshi investors are being able to invest in Africa, Europe, America and in Asia. The Bangladeshi businessmen have also interest to invest in West Bengal," he said.

Signing of Free Trade Agreement among priority issues
Prothom Alo | 20th April
President of Singapore Halimah Yacob has said they are impressed by the ongoing development and progress made by Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The President of Singapore and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen had a meeting at Istana and discussed issues of mutual interest, reports news agency UNB.

US envoy: Different faith groups living peacefully in Bangladesh
Dhaka Tribune | 20th April
Visiting US Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain highly lauded religious harmony and freedom in Bangladesh.
"We are very encouraged to see people from different faith groups who are living together peacefully in Bangladesh," he told reporters emerging from the meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam at the Foreign Ministry.
 

BHUTAN

Fiscal deficit to reach Nu 17.15B or 8.6 percent of GDP
Kuensel | 18th April
With expected shortfalls in domestic revenue, the fiscal deficit is expected to widen to Nu 17.15 billion (B), which is 8.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in this fiscal year 2021-22.
This means that the government would be short of Nu 17.15B (23 percent of the total approved budget) to spend in the fiscal year.
Fiscal deficit arises when the government spending exceeds its revenue.

Money supply estimated to grow by 13.8% in FY 2021-22
Business Bhutan | 20th April
The growth in net foreign assets, contributed by the inflow of convertible currency, is expected to grow by 22.3% by the end of this FY
Despite the slowdown in the economy and high inflation, the monetary and credit situation remain favorable, supported by accommodative monetary and expansionary fiscal policies. 
However, the money supply, measured by broad money, is estimated to grow by 13.8% in the FY 2021-22, owing to an increase in total deposits of 13.4% held by the commercial banks, which account for 93.1% of the money supply components.
 

MALDIVES

Maldives-India execute multiple HICDPs
The Edition | 18th April
Maldives and India have executed multiple memorandum of understandings for High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) that will be implemented under the grant assistance from India.
The MoUs were signed at a special ceremony held on Monday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Abdulla Shahid and the High Commissioner of India to the Maldives Mr. Munu Mahawar.

34.89 percent of eligible population receives booster doses against Covid-19 in Maldives
Raajje | 18th April
34.89 percent of the eligible population has received booster doses against Covid-19 across the Maldives.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) publicized its most recent figures on Monday, revealing that between April 10 – April 16, 705 persons received booster doses, 18 more persons received first doses and 67 more second doses were administered.
By the end of Saturday, a total of 158,000 people had received booster doses against Covid-19.
 

MYANMAR

Almost 350,000 People Displaced in Northwest Myanmar Since Coup
The Irrawaddy | 21st April
The number of Myanmar people displaced by fighting between resistance forces and the Myanmar military in anti-regime strongholds in the west and northwest of the country has exceeded 300,000 ‘for the first time’ since last year’s coup.
The United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest humanitarian update on Myanmar that, as of April 11, 346,000 of the 566,100 people displaced since the military takeover are from Chin State and Sagaing and Magwe regions in the west and northwest of Myanmar.

Aung San Suu Kyi urges public to ‘stay united’
Myanmar Now | 19th April
Detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi urged the Myanmar public to discuss and overcome their differences in a message delivered through a source close to the court during a hearing in Naypyitaw. 
The individual told Myanmar Now that Suu Kyi had given the rare statement to her legal team during a session in a junta court specially designated to review charges brought against her by the military council.  
 

NEPAL

Nepal appeals to the international community for generous support for post-Covid economic recovery
Onlinekhabar | 21st April
Nepal has appealed to the international community for generous support for the country’s post-Covid economic recovery.
The country’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari made the appeal as she virtually addressed the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia 2022.
The president expressed hope that the deliberations at the forum would encourage countries to adopt the measures to control and prevent the pandemic as well as to attain economic recovery, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs.

Policy changes in Nepal cause for concern for investors: Chinese ambassador
The Kathmandu Post | 21st April
China has said Chinese investors are facing problems in Nepal following frequent policy changes.
Addressing a virtual press meet, Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi said that policies change in Nepal with the change in governments creating problems for investors and entrepreneurs.

Nepal emphasises collective commitment for energy security
The Himalayan Times | 20th April
Nepal has emphasised that collective commitment is necessary for energy security.
During a third meeting of energy ministers from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral, Technical, and Economic Cooperation (BIM- STEC) here today, Minister of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal highlighted the need of mutual trust, clarity in future endeavours, and sincerity in the bid to address serious issues in the energy sector, bearing in mind the future of 1.7 billion people of BIMSTEC member nations.

 

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