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Food security in peril as Afghan crisis continues to escalate

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(Last Updated On: November 5, 2020)

Second Vice President Sarwar Danish said Thursday that 13 million Afghans have no food security and of this eight million are facing serious hunger problems.

Speaking at a gathering to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of Afghanistan’s Food Security and Nutrition Agenda (AFSANA), Danish said that most of these people are villagers living in rural areas.

“The national budget should be based on reducing poverty and eradicating hunger,” said Danish.

Danish also said that all key government policies should be based on reducing poverty and eradicating hunger.
He said war, poverty, injustice, a lack of water, environmental degradation and hunger are other reasons for the serious food security problem in the country.

Acting minister of agriculture Anwarullhaq Ahadi also said providing enough food for Afghans is their main goal.

“Efforts are underway to become self-sufficient regarding food,” said Ahadi.

On the other hand, World Food Program (WFP) officials in Afghanistan said at the session that they have accelerated their efforts to establish food security and are committed to working with partners in order to eradicate hunger.

Based on statistics, 38 percent of the population in Afghanistan was living under the poverty line in 2014 when Ashraf Ghani became president. This figure increased to 55 percent in 2017 and in July this year Ghani said that 90 percent of the population is living below the poverty line.

As the global food security situation seems set to continue to decline and humanitarian needs increase, humanitarian agencies are increasingly struggling to access the funds necessary to provide nutritional aid to the most vulnerable.

Increasing hunger has meant that the WFP will need an additional US$4.9 billion on this year’s budget. As a result, the WFP has been forced to scale back operations, even in severely food insecure countries such as Yemen.

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China calls on US to release Afghanistan’s assets

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2022)

Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said Friday the freezing of $7 billion of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves has caused the economic crisis in Afghanistan to intensify, and that Beijing sees the continued blocking of these assets as “unjustifiable”.

“The freezing of seven billion dollars in assets of the Central Bank of Afghanistan has played a negative role in aggravating the economic crisis in this country and the US government must release these assets of the Afghan people and there is no justification for the continued blocking of Afghanistan’s assets,” said Wang.

China and Russia, the two fierce rivals of the US, have reacted to the freezing of Afghanistan’s assets several times since the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan (IEA) took power. The two countries have also called for the release of the foreign reserves on a number of occasions.

“United States is the political and economic opponent of China, and the Chinese make moves against the US from any source,” said Sayed Massoud, a university professor.

After the IEA swept to power in August last year, the US froze almost $10 billion dollars of the country’s foreign reserves.

US President Joe Biden, signed an order on February 11, 2021, that half of the reserves be allocated to the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. He instructed that the balance be used for humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan.

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IEA urges India to complete unfinished projects in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2022)

The foreign ministry of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has called on India to complete its unfinished developmental projects in Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued on Saturday, the IEA also called on India to embark on other “vital projects,” in Afghanistan.

The statement was issued after India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said Friday a team of diplomats, excluding the ambassador, had gone to Afghanistan to address issues such as humanitarian assistance, vaccine campaigns and development projects in the country.

“We have taken a very considered deliberated view that our relationship at the end of the day is with the people of Afghanistan, to the society and that it is a relationship which is deep enough and in a sense, historically long enough for us to actually find ways of factoring in these political changes and continuing that people-to-people, so like a relationship,” Jaishankar told reporters.

IEA’s foreign ministry said it welcomed India’s move to step up diplomatic presence at its embassy in Kabul, and reiterated security assurances.

The ministry expressed hope that relations between India and Afghanistan would expand further.

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Thirteen people killed in flash floods in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2022)

Thirteen people including women and children have been killed in flash floods caused by heavy rains over the past two days in Afghanistan, officials said on Saturday.

Sharafuddin Muslim, the deputy state minister for disaster management, said that the floods happened in Khost, Paktia, Logar, Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Parwan and Kapisa provinces.

According to the official, 13 people including four women and five children were killed and two others went missing following the floods.

Muslim said that hundreds of homes were damaged. Some roads connecting villages with the district centers were also blocked.

Responding to the disaster, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is distributing 100,000 afghanis to each family affected, he said.

Other basic items are also being delivered, he said.

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