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    Japan pledges $1. 4m grant for projects

    KABUL (PAN): The Japanese Embassy in Kabul on Wednesday signed agreements with non-governmental organisations for more than a dozen development projects.

    Under the accords, Japan would provide $ 1.4 million for the projects to be executed in Kabul, Badakhshan, Herat, Daikundi, Balkh and Sar-i-Pul provinces, Japan's deputy ambassador to Afghanistan, Seiji Okada, said during the contracts' signing ceremony.

    The projects are related to rural rehabilitation, education, agriculture, construction of building for 23 schools and provision of medical equipment for the Indira Gandhi Children's Hospital in Kabul.  The envoy said about 100,000 people in six provinces would benefit from the schemes.

    "Our assistance is not limited to education and health.  A lack of health centres and services have a negative impact on Afghanistan's people," Okada said.

    He also said that his country would fund the establishment of a hospital in the Kasham district of northern Badakhshan province. The hospital would provide health services to about 28,000 people, he said.