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Neighbors at China meeting call for inclusive political structure in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: April 1, 2022)

Neighboring countries noted the importance to achieve national reconciliation in Afghanistan through dialogue and negotiation and to establish a broad-based and inclusive political structure during their meeting in China on Thursday.

The third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan was held in Tunxi, Anhui province in China. Foreign ministers or senior representatives of seven countries, namely China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, attended the meeting.

They noted the importance of taking necessary continuing steps in Afghanistan on ensuring women’s rights and children’s education, among others, and called for further actions to be taken to improve people’s livelihoods, and safeguard the fundamental rights of all Afghans, including ethnic groups, women and children, according to a joint statement.

Participants also reaffirmed opposition to attempts at politicizing humanitarian assistance, and reiterated respect and support for the central role of Afghanistan in distributing and using humanitarian assistance to be rendered by the international community and international organizations to the people of Afghanistan.

On the same day, China also hosted a separate meeting focused on supporting Afghanistan’s economic reconstruction and practical cooperation, called the Tunxi Initiative.

“The Tunxi Initiative is rich in content and will play an important role in promoting Afghanistan’s peace, reconstruction, stability and development in the future,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press conference.

“The initiative embodies five features: First, not playing geopolitical games, but focusing on practical cooperation. Second, not imposing one’s will on others, but advocating equality and voluntariness. Third, not making high-profile empty promises, but pursuing tangible results. Fourth, not acting without coordination, but striving for regional connectivity. Fifth, not seeking isolation and antagonism, but advocating openness and inclusiveness,” Wang said.

All parties at the meeting decided to provide further humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, and called on the international community to give more support to Afghanistan, to help it restore cash liquidity and avoid humanitarian disaster.

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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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