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Funding dries up as humanitarian needs at all-time high in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: August 14, 2023)

The 2023 Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is currently experiencing substantial critical funding gaps amounting to at least $1.3 billion, leaving vulnerable Afghan families staring down the barrel of hunger, disease and even potential death as winter approaches.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Sunday in a statement that with humanitarian needs at an all-time high due to the third consecutive year of drought-like conditions, worsening poverty and heightened vulnerabilities following forty years of conflict, only a short window of opportunity exists to bring in vital assistance and supplies before the lean season and winter starts, and lives are lost.

According to a recent analysis by humanitarian partners, severe underfunding has already led to a massive reduction in the number of people targeted for food assistance each month – down from 13 million at the beginning of the year to 9 million between March and April, and 5 million people in May, while some 262 static and mobile health facilities have had to discontinue health service provision, impacting access to primary health care services for two million people.

Some 2,800 community-based classes face closure in August affecting more than 141,000 children – more than half of them girls – should no additional funding be received, UNOCHA said.

Further cuts in food rations are inevitable over the coming months if additional funds are not received, the statement read.

“Funding is urgently needed to get ahead of winter and pre-position critical humanitarian supplies before many areas get cut off in October due to freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall.”

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US, UAE diplomats meet to discuss Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West met with UAE’s deputy envoy for the United Nations, Mohammad Abu Shahab, discussing the latest developments in Afghanistan, it was announced on Friday.

The sides also discussed empowering Afghan women and girls, and the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2721, co-penned by the UAE and Japan, UAE Mission to the UN said in a post on X.

The 2721 UNSC resolution adopted in December last year, calls for the appointment of a UN special envoy for Afghanistan, a suggestion objected by the Islamic Emirate.

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Top former US general claims Daesh-Khorasan is ‘on the upswing’

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

Retired General Joseph Votel, former chief of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), has claimed that Daesh-Khorasan is on the upswing, and that the US doesn’t have much on the ground to help reduce the risk.

“ISIS-K is on the upswing right now,” Votel said, Business Insider reported. “And we don’t have much on the ground to help reduce that risk that this organization poses.”

Before withdrawal from Afghanistan, Washington had significant intelligence capabilities on the ground and the ability to conduct kinetic strikes against the group. But this “mowing-the-grass” approach to counterterrorism, Votel said, has since paved way for a stronger and more resilient Daesh-K that’s focused on projecting its influence elsewhere.

The US still has the ability to gather meaningful intelligence in the region, although Votel said these capabilities are likely diminished from what they previously were. But it’s very important, he stressed, that the US continues to dedicate resources toward the threat and make it a priority.

One way for the US to do this is to work with regional partners around Afghanistan, such as Pakistan or states in Central Asia, to increase collaboration and the exchange of information with regard to violent extremism, Votel said. Another method would be for lawmakers to reauthorize a powerful surveillance tool known as Section 702, which is set to expire later this month.

“It doesn’t take very long for these organizations to rise up and become more capable,” retired Gen. Joseph Votel, who oversaw military operations in the Middle East in the 2010s, said.

This comes as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) says that Daesh has been suppressed and does not have the ability to launch attacks from Afghanistan against any country.

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Lightning strikes in Helmand kill one, injure three

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

One person has died and three others have been injured by lightning strikes in southern Helmand province, officials said.

Abdul Bari Rashid, director of information and culture in Helmand, told Ariana News that lightning occurred in the provincial capital Lashkargah, and Gereshk and Babaji districts.

According to him, one person died in the lightning and three others including a woman and two children were injured.

Meanwhile, floods triggered by heavy rains have caused financial losses in Sangin district of Helmand.

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