Iran agrees to train jobless Afghans
Iran and Afghanistan have reached an agreement that allows Tehran to hold technical training courses in the war-torn country to help unemployed Afghans fight drug trafficking and addiction, Press TV reported.
Iranian Minister of Labor Abdul Reza Sheikholeslami and Afghan Minister of Counternarcotics Ahmad Moqbel Zarar discussed the details of the agreement during a meeting in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday, IRNA reported.
Sheikholeslami pointed out that the high unemployment rates is one of the main reasons contributing to the youth resorting to drug addiction and trafficking.
The Iranian official noted that the two neighboring nations could fight the addiction epidemic and narcotics trafficking by creating more jobs.
Sheikholeslami further expressed Iran's readiness to help the Afghan government hold professional training courses in order to train unemployed Afghans.
Zarar, for his part, said that Afghanistan needs the Islamic Republic's support in rehabilitating its addicts and assisting them with finding employment and kicking the habit.
The two officials stressed the necessity of expanding collaborations in the anti-drug campaign.
Last month, the two governments also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the improvement and consolidation of Tehran-Kabul cooperation in the field of labor and social affairs.
Iranian technicians constructed Afghanistan's first rehabilitation center with a $1 million dollar investment within a 30-month period, Sheikholeslami said.
The rehabilitation center has the capacity to provide services to more than 100 people per day.
In the center, Afghan people can receive services of audiometry, hydrotherapy, orthopedics, optometry, general medicine, medical consultation, community-based rehabilitation, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
In reference to Iran's initiative to legalize the presence of Afghan immigrants in Iran, the Iranian minister reiterated that the "legalization of the presence of almost three million Afghan immigrants in Iran is in the interest of both Iranian and Afghan governments and nations."
He further argued that the move would enable the Afghan government to better plan for the country's reconstruction.
Afghanistan accounts for 90 percent of the world's opium and heroin production, the UN drug monitoring body said in its 2010 report.
Drug production has jumped 40 folds in Afghanistan since the US-led occupation of the country began in 200, leading to the presence of 150,000 foreign troops in the war-torn nation.