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IEC Rejects UN Proposal For Upcoming Elections

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(Last Updated On: May 20, 2019)

Afghanistan’s IEC on Monday rejected the UN proposal of delaying the provincial councils and Ghazni parliamentary elections.

UN insists on holding the timely presidential elections.

According to a tweet, Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said that “Critically important that credible Afghanistan Presidential elections take place on time this year.”

He further added that “The UN’s technical advice is that with only 4 months remaining to 28 Sept Presidential Election day there is a need for realism and urgent focus among all actors in the Afghan election process.”

However, Mr. Yamamoto stressed the independence of IEC regarding making decisions about the elections.

“The IEC decides on how many elections to hold. The UN provides technical guidance to it and respects its decisions, “said Mr. Yamamoto.

In addition, on  May 12, Alice Wells, the U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs visited Kabul where she met with the IEC officials to discuss the ongoing preparations for the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan.

The U.S. top diplomat recommended IEC officials to focus on the presidential elections on September 28. In addition, she urged electoral bodies to postpone the other two elections.

However, the IEC Chief Hawa Alam Nuristani has said that the provincial council elections should be held as scheduled in order to legitimatize the presidential election.

“In order to ensure overall, transparent, and legal presidential elections, there is a need to hold the provincial council elections as well,” said Ms. Nuristani.

Meanwhile, some presidential candidates insist that IEC has not the capacity of holding three elections at the same time.

The elections observers, know the suggestion made by U.S. Deputy of Foreign Affairs Ministry as an intervention in the work of IEC.

“The suggestion could be proposed by an expert; proposed by a political official, however, has a different message,” said Yousuf Rashid, CEO of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan.

This comes as IEC has assured to hold all the three elections concurrently on September 28.

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Earthquake victims in Gayan district still in need of food and shelter

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Hundreds of survivors of this week’s earthquake, who lost family members and their homes, are still in desperate need of help.

Sayed Bakhta, one of the survivors said that he has lost four family members and two others are hospitalized, adding that survivors are dealing with a lack of food and no shelter.

“We have no shelter here now, we don’t have food, all the victims are sitting outside without having shelter,” he said.

A number of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) officials who have visited Gayan district of Paktika say that almost 90 percent of residential areas have been destroyed.

“Almost 90 percent of residences are destroyed; only a few them are suitable for living, most of them are uninhabitable,” said Qalandar Ebad, acting minister of public health.

In the meantime, rugged roads have hampered relief efforts as Gayan victims grapple with a humanitarian crisis, but military helicopter try to deliver aid to the victims.

“According to the order of the Prime Minister, a meeting was held and according to that meeting, the ministries and donor organizations were instructed to come to the earthquake site as soon as possible and use all their facilities to save the people,” said Sharafuddin Muslim, deputy Minister of State for Disaster Management.

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121 children among those killed in Afghanistan earthquake: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

The United Nations children’s agency said on Friday 121 of those who were killed in the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan this week were children.

Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative to Afghanistan, said as of late Thursday night, at least 1,036 people were reported killed and more than 1,643 reported injured.

The toll included 121 deaths and 67 injuries among the children, according to the official.

He said that Bermal district in Paktika province has the highest number of casualties and that several thousand homes were destroyed or damaged.

“Children and adolescents are extremely vulnerable and at high-risk of family separation, emotional and psychological distress, abuse and exploitation, and other forms of violence,” Ayoya said.

“UNICEF, in coordination with UN agencies, partners, and the de facto authorities (led by the Ministry of Defence) is rapidly preparing a multi-sectoral response covering health, WASH, child protection, nutrition, education, social mobilization, and including a cash component,” Ayoya said.
“UNICEF will be conducting a rapid market assessment in the affected areas in the upcoming days. The assessment will inform the feasibility and appropriateness of cash as a response to support early recovery. UNICEF has already trained partners for beneficiary registration on the ground.”

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Pakistan dispatches second consignment of earthquake relief

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday dispatched eight trucks loaded with relief goods for earthquake victims in Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by the Pakistan government, the consignment, arranged by the National Disaster Management Authority, has been handed over to Afghan authorities.

The consignment consists of family tents, tarpaulins, blankets and emergency medicines.

“Pakistan is committed to continue supply of relief goods to Afghan brethren,” the statement read.

This comes after Pakistan sent in earthquake aid on Wednesday, just hours after the 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan’s eastern provinces, killing over 1,000 people and destroying thousands of houses.

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