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MPs accuse govt of breaking the law by using acting ministers

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(Last Updated On: January 9, 2021)

Lawmakers on Saturday cried foul and accused government of violating the Constitution after allowing four nominated ministers and the nominated head of the Central Bank to continue in acting ministerial positions despite having lost their votes of confidence in parliament.

MPs in the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) said government’s failure to remove the acting ministers was illegal and that it was obliged to nominate new ministers so as to legitimize the cabinet.

The MPs called on President Ashraf Ghani to remove the acting ministers and resolve the issue.

They said government has previously violated the law as it has in the past also failed to nominate new ministers for parliament to approve.

Last month, the four nominees that were vetoed by parliament were the acting ministers for education, rural development, information and culture, and women’s affairs, and the head of the central bank.

“Any function of the candidates are against the law, and the parliament has repeatedly called for new faces, but the president does not respect the law and does not fulfill his legal responsibilities to nominate new ministers, and the new minister must be nominated to parliament, to legislate the cabinet,” said Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, a parliament member.

“The government must fulfill its legal obligations and introduce new faces instead of the candidates for ministers who have been rejected by this parliament, so that we can legislate the government,” said Sharifi Balkhabi, another parliament member.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs says it is working on the issue and plans to nominate candidates for the ministries before MPs break for their winter recess.

“The government is determined to nominate new ministers before the winter break, in the House of Representatives, to complete the cabinet,” said Sayed Ali Kazimi, deputy at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

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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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