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Malnutrition rates in Afghanistan at record high, WFP warns

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

Malnutrition rates in Afghanistan have reached record highs with half the country enduring severe hunger throughout the year, a spokesman for the World Food Program said Thursday.

“Half of Afghanistan endures severe hunger throughout the year, regardless of the season, and malnutrition rates are at a record high for Afghanistan,” said Phillipe Kropf, a spokesman for WFP in Kabul, the Associated Press reported.

“There are four million children (under the age of 5) and mothers who are malnourished, in a country with a population of 40 million.

Kropf said Afghans are not starving to death, but they have no resources left to stave off the humanitarian crisis.

Aid agencies have been providing food, education and healthcare support to Afghans, including heating, cash for fuel and warm clothes. But distribution has been severely impacted by an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) order banning women from working at national and international nongovernmental organizations.

“The ban has come at the worst possible moment,” said Kropf. “Families and communities don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”

The WFP scaled up its delivery and distribution of aid in anticipation of a tough winter before the ban came in, planning to reach 15 million this month with emergency food assistance and nutrition support. While it is not directly affected by the ban, 19 of its NGO partners suspended operations in Afghanistan following the Dec. 24 edict.

The highest-ranking woman at the UN Amina Mohammed said Wednesday she used everything in her “toolbox” during meetings with IEA ministers in Afghanistan to try to reverse their crackdown on women and girls.

On Thursday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, on rising malnutrition rates in Afghanistan, said: “It’s yet another sign of the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan we’re seeing in the midst of particularly harsh winter conditions.”

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IEA renews commitment for cordial relationship with world

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(Last Updated On: March 23, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has renewed its commitment to establishing cordial relationships with the international community and stressed practical steps towards the recognition of the IEA government worldwide, according to a statement on Thursday.

The pledge was reaffirmed by Mawlavi Abdul Kabir, political aide of the IEA’s prime minister, during a meeting with UNAMA Deputy Head Markuz Potzel.

He hailed the UN and other agencies for the distribution of aid to vulnerable Afghans and added that the government assured all aid-providing agencies full security, a statement from the political aide office said.

Potzel mentioned the overnight earthquake during the meeting and hoped that the people of Afghanistan had not suffered losses.

But UNAMA on its Twitter wrote that during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Mawlavi Abdul Kabir, the UN reiterated its unwavering call to reopen schools and universities for Afghan girls and women.

“UNAMA deputy head Potzel Markus met de-facto Deputy Prime Minister Mawlavi Abdul Kabir today, reiterating UN & international community’s unwavering call for the reopening of school and university doors for Afghan girls and women,” UNAMA tweeted.

Kabir meanwhile said that IEA does not oppose girls’ education.

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Crime levels down in Kabul city: Police report

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(Last Updated On: March 23, 2023)

The Kabul Police Commander headquarters shared their annual report with the media at a press conference on Wednesday and stated the overall crime rate in the city has come down.

The head of the criminal investigation unit of the Kabul Police, Mufti Abdul Samad, said during the press conference that the crime rate has dropped through the cooperation of residents.

Before the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate, each security zone of Kabul city recorded at least 15 vehicle thefts a week. This has been reduced to zero.

In the press conference, the spokesman of the Police Commander of Kabul, Khalid Zadran said that 156 cases of murder have been reported in Kabul city and 14 districts in the past year and that security forces have arrested 36 suspects on charges.

There were 553 cases of robbery from houses, 1,920 cases of fraud and other such incidents, and 2,737 suspects were arrested on charges with these cases, he added.

Kabul police said cooperation of residents was crucial to create a safe environment in the city and prevent crime.

Kabul police also asked all residents to report any suspicious incidents, and inform the detective agencies.

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Blinken promises review of Afghan withdrawal to Congress by mid-April

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(Last Updated On: March 23, 2023)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers on Wednesday that the State Department has been putting together a review of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and will share findings with Congress by mid-April.

“We’ve now been spending time putting all of this together to make sure that we look at some of the common lessons learned,” Blinken said in testimony to a Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee hearing.

“I am committed and determined to make that information available to Congress, and we will do that. We will do that by mid-April. So I can tell you today, you’ll have the after-action review. We will share the findings and find the appropriate mechanism to do that within the next three weeks.”

Members of Congress have been demanding information about the August 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years in what was the U.S.’s longest war. The Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee threatened this week to issue a subpoena if the State Department does not produce documents it has requested, Reuters reported.

John Kirby, the top spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, told reporters the main takeaways from the review would be released to the public and shared with the House committee.

Republicans, who took control of the House in January, say there has never been a full accounting of the chaotic operation, in which 13 U.S. service members were killed at Kabul’s airport.

Hundreds of U.S. citizens and many thousands of Afghans who had worked with American forces were left behind as they were seeking to flee from the Taliban, the Islamist militant group that resumed control of Afghanistan.

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