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97% of Afghan population now facing food shortages: UN



(Last Updated On: May 5, 2022)

Millions of Afghans are now experiencing intense food shortages following the collapse of the former government and Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover in August.

As Muslims around the world celebrated Eid-Uk-Fitr, experts say that for most Afghans, it was simply another day of struggle to put food on the table.

According to the United Nations, 97 percent of Afghans are experiencing food shortages.

Following the IEA’s takeover in August, most Western aid was stopped. Hospitals and schools are unable to pay their employees, and many people are unable to purchase food, exacerbating an already dire crisis.

In a phone interview from her home in Afghanistan, a woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Canada’s CTV News that she and her children struggled during Ramadan after months of limited access to food, which meant they had little to eat to break their fast in the evenings.

She says that without an adult male family member, their main source of income has been cut off, and the meal they received from a local charity on Eid for iftar was their first complete meal in months.

“When it comes to food shortages, it is so much worse than we can see,” said Noorain Noorani, the executive director of The Zahra Foundation, a registered charity with offices in Canada and the U.K. working to provide food and safe drinking water to impacted communities in Afghanistan.

“Political instability has continued to lead to displacement, loss of income, and access to education, and is contributing to the ongoing cycle of chronic poverty,” she said.

Over the past few months, the country has suffered a deadly series of bombings, including at mosques in Kabul, Kunduz and Mazar-e Sharif – an increased level of violence that Noorani says is compounding the food crisis.

The Zahra Foundation is one of the many organizations on the ground in Afghanistan that offered meal packages on Eid as Muslims broke their fasts with iftar.

“On Eid, we offered meals to anyone who needed them, and not just the civilians who’ve registered with us. But in the past few months, there are now more people on the waitlist than ever before,” said Noorani.

According to the United Nations World Food Program, more than 22 million people, or more than half of the country’s population, are suffering from acute hunger, with the majority unable to predict when their next meal would arrive.

This is a significant rise from September 2020, when over 14 million people were on the verge of becoming hungry. According to the group, 97 percent of the population had insufficient food consumption in December, and they were adopting ways to cope with their circumstances, such as skipping a meal.

The situation has gotten worse since a drought hit Afghanistan in October 2020. The UN says more than 40 percent of all crops have been lost, and livestock has been devastated due to the severe weather.

The United Nations World Food Programme in Afghanistan reached 376,139 people in Kabul in March 2022 for financial and food assistance, with the latest numbers for those supported in Eid still being tallied.

The IEA-controlled government has been cut off from the international economy since the fall of Kabul in August and the departure of U.S. soldiers, resulting in a currency crisis, widespread poverty, and the collapse of critical public services including health care.

The UN and its partners sought more than US$5 billion for the year in mid-January, more than the agency has ever requested for a single country.

The majority of the aid, US$4.4 billion, would go to Afghans within the nation. The remainder would be used to help the millions of Afghan refugees living in neighbouring countries such as Iran and Pakistan.

But there are concerns that Afghanistan still isn’t receiving enough international support.

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IEA special forces kill key Daesh commander in eastern Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: June 2, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate’s special forces in an operation on Wednesday killed a top Daesh commander along with his accomplice in eastern Nangarhar province, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported.

This Daesh commander’s name was reportedly “Turab”.

The operation was conducted on Wednesday evening in Wuch Tangi village of Shiwa district in eastern Nangarhar province, according to the provincial officials reported by Bakhtar news agency.

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30 Afghan students off to Kazakhstan to continue their studies



(Last Updated On: June 2, 2023)

The Ministry of Higher Education said on Thursday that 30 Afghan students will soon leave for Kazakhstan where they will continue their studies in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

At a meeting with the students held at the Ministry of Higher Education, Mufti Mohammad Tahir Ahmad, the deputy minister of student affairs, expressed his gratitude to Kazakhstan for awarding scholarships to Afghans and emphasized the need to strengthen relations with the countries in the scientific and academic sectors.

Ahmad said the students were ambassadors of their country and stated that: “Besides preserving your religious and national values, you must also respect the laws and culture of the host country. Pay more attention to your learning and knowledge.”

He added that: “The eyes of hope of the people and the system are fixed on you, so that after acquiring science and knowledge, you will play your part in the development of your country.”

Dr. Nazar Mohammad Irfan, the head of foreign relations and scholarship regulation of the Ministry of Higher Education, also addressed the students and said Kazakhstan was among the countries that stood by the people of Afghanistan in difficult times and continued their cooperation in various sectors, especially higher education.

He also asked the students to make the most of this opportunity and build their country with their own hands.

Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat, the academic vice president of Kabul University, spoke about the value of science and knowledge and the objectives of the Ministry of Higher Education in the area of education and training of young staff from the perspective of the holy religion of Islam and religious beliefs, and asked the students to make the basis and focus of all their activities on “Islamic belief”.

According to the ministry, 256 people took part in a scholarship selection exam, and 30 students were chosen. They will pursue bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the fields of economics, computer science, law, physics, biology and chemistry.

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Army corps commander visits Nimroz border checkpoints



(Last Updated On: June 2, 2023)

The Ministry of National Defense of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) says that Alhaji Mullah Sharafuddin Taqi, the commander of the 215 Azam Army Corps, traveled to Nimroz province on Wednesday, at the head of a delegation and visited the 3rd and 5th border checkpoints located on the border with Iran.

The defense ministry said in a statement that the commander met with Nimroz officials, including the provincial police chief, and discussed the need to improve coordination between the forces and border protection.

Referring to the recent cross-border skirmish with Iran, the commander of the 215 Azam Army Corps said: “The Islamic Emirate considers border protection its responsibility and is committed to establishing diplomatic relations with neighboring countries.”

However, he called the forces the defenders of borders, territorial integrity and independence of the country and promised to cooperate in solving their problems.

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