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ICRC to strengthen ties with China in aiding Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: November 24, 2021)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will strengthen cooperation with China to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, especially in the health sector, said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, head of the ICRC’s Regional Delegation for East Asia, Reuters reported.

This comes amid a growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan on the back of economic sanctions.

Kraehenbuehl said about 47 percent of the Afghan population faces food insecurity in one form or another and that because the flow of money into Afghanistan has dried up, institutions that crucially provide for the needs of the people are currently facing incredibly dire circumstances.

In an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN) he said the ICRC is mobilizing all resources to help Afghanistan get through the humanitarian crisis it is currently facing, and approaching China is at the top of its agenda.

“We need about 150 million Swiss Francs or 160 million U.S. dollars until the end of 2022. We will mobilize support from states, and in that regard, we are approaching China and this is a priority for us. We welcome the fact that our partners in the Red Cross Society of China have come forward with the first financial support, which we are very grateful for, and we are now continuing the dialogue also with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We hope that there are avenues of cooperation that can open up,” said the official.

The ICRC representative also said that China has contributed a lot to improving medical conditions in Afghanistan, and that the organization is looking forward to strengthening cooperation with China in that regard.

A freight train, carrying 1,000-plus tons of humanitarian aid left the city of Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Saturday afternoon and headed for Mazar-e-Sharif, the fourth largest city in Afghanistan. It will take 12 days to get the winter clothes, cotton shoes, blankets, naan, and milk-tea powder, and other materials delivered, Reuters reported.

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Former commander of Faryab’s uprising forces returns to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

A well-known commander of former uprising forces in Faryab province, Nizamuddin Qaisari, returned to Afghanistan on Sunday after fleeing the country.

Qaisari’s returns comes after efforts were made by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Contact Commission with Afghan Personalities.

Speaking at a meeting after his arrival, Qaisari said the reason for his return is so he can serve his country. He also called on the IEA to form an inclusive government that represents all ethnic groups in the country

“I came for my people; now we have Islamic government; I want to help and work for the government if they want [me] to; I am ready to serve,” Qaisari said. “I am here to unify people, Pashtun, Hazara, Tajik and others.”

The IEA meanwhile welcomes the return of political figures, even those who were once opposed to the Islamic Emirate, the IEA has said.

Experts believe that Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans, and the return of political figures and experts in various fields can provide the basis for lasting stability as well as growth and prosperity of Afghanistan.

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Polio vaccination campaign rolls out in western Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

More than one million Afghan children are expected to be vaccinated over the next few days in the latest polio vaccination campaign that was launched in western Afghanistan on Sunday.

Officials said the campaign will run for four days and be conducted across four provinces in the western region.

Waheed Rahmani, head of the vaccination campaign, said that 1.1 million children under the age of five are expected to receive the polio drops, including 720,000 in Herat province.

He said that so far there are no obstacles in the way of rolling out the campaign.

Volunteers said that they hope to reach all the children who need to be vaccinated.

“I along with my team will work honestly to make Afghanistan free from polio virus,” said Fina Nezami, a volunteer.

“I hope that Afghanistan becomes polio-free and we are happy to go door to door for vaccinations,” said Yagana Nabizada, another volunteer.

Local health officials have assured the public that all areas will be covered by the campaign.

“We have not forgotten areas, and while planning vaccination programs, all the areas are reviewed and if any area is left out, it will be immediately covered,” said Mohammad Asif Kabir, provincial deputy health director.

Around 728,000 children received polio drops in the previous campaign in Herat. Around 5,000 volunteers are involved in the current campaign in Herat.

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China pledges over $7 million in aid for quake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

China’s ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu met with Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and said his country would provide emergency aid worth 50 million Yuan ($7.5 million) for victims of last week’s earthquake. 

At a meeting on Saturday in Kabul, Wang also said that MCC Mes Aynak copper mining contractor would provide $200,000 in aid. 

Wang said on Twitter: “Chinese enterprises will definitely fulfill their social responsibilities. The friendship between 2 countries and peoples will be further strengthened.”

Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government and people for the timely assistance and assured Wang that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities would distribute the aid promptly, fairly and transparently, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported. 

Aid provided by China will include tents, sheets, fold up beds, and other items urgently needed by the Afghan people. The first batch of aid is scheduled to arrive by charter flight on Monday, Bakhtar reported.

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