MEETING WITH THE CO-CHAIR OF POLIO PARTNER GROUP IN GENEVA

On 20 August 2015, Mr. Azizullah Omar, Charge d’affairs of the Embassy and Permanent Mission Afghanistan to the United Nations met with Ms. Carole Lanteri, Ambassador  and Permanent Representative of Monaco and Co- Chair of the Polio Partners Group in her office in Geneva.

At the commencement, Mr. Omar provided an update on the improvements made in the area of eradication of Polio in Afghanistan, as there has been a significant decline in confirmed polio cases in Afghanistan. On the progress made by the Ministry of Public Health, Mr. Omar mentioned that, “Afghanistan Health sector has made a notable progress over the last decades. There is an increase in the number of functioning health facilities which has resulted in expanding primary health care services all over Afghanistan. Most of Afghanistan remains polio free; the confirmed cases are in the southern province of Helmand and Kandahar provinces which are near to the Pakistani border. The cases of Polio in Afghanistan are directly linked to the increase of Polio cases in Pakistan.

Ms. Lanteri expressed her concern about the refusal of Polio by religious leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan; she questioned whether or not the Afghan religious leaders support the polio campaign in Afghanistan? In a reply to that Mr. Omar iterated that, Afghanistan religious leaders support polio eradication, and normally mosques and religious centers are used as Polio centers.

On the sideline of the discussion on polio, there was exchange of ideas on establishing business opportunities between Afghanistan and Monaco, particularly the import of fresh and dry-fruits from Afghanistan to Monaco. Ms. Lanteri expressed her willingness to discuss the matter with the Monaco’s Chamber of Economic Development in order to fully facilitate import and export between both countries.