Connect with us

Latest News

Norway announces $22 million in aid for Afghanistan

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: November 19, 2022)

The government of Norway has announced that it will provide $22 million via the United Nations and the World Bank to enhance food security and basic services, including health education and health in Afghanistan.

The Afghan people are contending with economic collapse, increasing humanitarian needs and restrictions on their rights. Women and children are particularly at risk in the current critical humanitarian situation, Norwegian government said in a statement this week.

“I am deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan. Norway is now providing NOK 220 million to the UN and the World Bank to support their efforts to enhance food security and ensure the provision of basic services such as health and education. It is essential that all children, girls and boys, are given full access to these services,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

Many Afghans are facing food insecurity, unemployment and poverty, and do not have access to basic services, the statement said.

“Over the past year, Norway has worked to mobilise assistance over and above humanitarian aid. Not for the Taliban, but for the Afghan people. This has been challenging in a country where we cannot cooperate with the authorities in the normal way. It has been a priority for Norway to ensure that the aid we provide benefits the whole population, women and men, girls and boys,’ said Huitfeldt.

Norway has provided close to NOK 200 million ($20 million) purely in humanitarian assistance this year. In total, over NOK 700 million ($70 million) in support has been allocated to Afghanistan in 2022.

Latest News

UN body condemns burning of Holy Quran in Sweden

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 26, 2023)

The Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, has condemned the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran in Sweden.

Alakbarov called this action disgusting and said that it is not the same as freedom of expression and respecting each other is necessary to promote a peaceful atmosphere.

The High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Miguel Angel Moratinos on Tuesday also condemned the act of burning a copy of the Holy Quran in Sweden last Saturday by the leader of a right-wing (hard line) party.

In a statement, the UNAOC Representative stressed the importance of preserving freedom of expression as a basic human right, but he also stressed that burning the Holy Quran amounts to “expressing hatred of Muslims.”

“It is an offensive and insulting act to followers of Islam, and it should not be confused with freedom of expression.”

Moratinos stressed that the exercise of freedom of expression carries with it duties and responsibilities.

He expressed deep concern about the high number of cases of discrimination, intolerance and violence in general, regardless of the actors, especially those directed against followers of many religions and societies around the world, “including cases driven by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and prejudices against people of color, other religions or beliefs.”

Moratinos affirmed that “mutual respect is necessary to build and promote just, inclusive, and peaceful societies rooted in human rights and dignity for all.”

He referred to the United Nations Action Plan for the Protection of Religious Places, led by the UNAOC, which provides a framework and a number of recommendations, including the promotion of religious pluralism, dialogue between followers of religions and cultures, and mutual respect and understanding.

Meanwhile, the people of Afghanistan have also protested in response to this issue and in a protest movement they say that Muslims should unite against such acts. “We call on the countries to bring such people to justice and punish them,” said Sayed Mohammad, a protestor in Zabul province.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Top U.N. officials seek to ‘water down’ bans on women in Afghanistan

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 26, 2023)

The United Nations is pushing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) administration for more exemptions to its ban on most female aid workers, top U.N. officials said on Wednesday, while also expressing concern that foreign women working for international organizations and embassies could next be targeted.

Speaking to Reuters during a visit to Kabul, U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths said that his message during meetings with Taliban officials had been: “If you can’t help us rescind the ban, give us the exemptions to allow women to operate.”

Last month, the IEA – who seized power in August 2021 – banned most female aid workers and stopped women from attending university after stopping girls from attending high school in March. Griffiths traveled to Afghanistan after a visit last week by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.

Griffiths said some exemptions to the female aid worker ban had been granted in health and education and that there were indications there could be a possible exemption in agriculture. But he said much more was needed, with nutrition and water and sanitation services a priority to prevent severe illnesses and malnutrition during a severe humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Reuters reported.

“We have not seen the history of the Taliban (IEA) reversing any edict. What we have seen is exemptions that, hopefully, if we keep pushing them, they will water down those edicts to a point where we will get women and girls back into school and into the workplace,” Mohammed told reporters in New York on Wednesday.

Griffiths told Reuters that, following his recent discussions with the IEA, he was hopeful they would create a set of written guidelines to allow aid groups to operate with female staff in more areas with certainty in coming weeks.

“The next few weeks are absolutely crucial to see if the humanitarian community … can stay and deliver,” he said, while cautioning: “I don’t want to speculate as to whether we’re going to come out of this in the right place.”

The IEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its plans over guidelines.

During her visit last week, Mohammed met with the Shura – the leadership council that issues the bans – in the southern Taliban heartland of Kandahar. She said there is a concern that they may next prohibit “international women from international organizations and embassies.”

“It hasn’t happened so far,” said Mohammed, adding that they had been expecting a possible announcement all month. “I don’t say that it won’t, but clearly the pressure that we’re putting on has stopped that rollback as quickly.”

Griffiths said the United Nations would continue operating in Afghanistan wherever it could, but there was a concern that international donors might not want to commit to the huge financial cost of aid at around $4.6 billion a year.

“I lose sleep about this, I really do,” Griffiths said, adding that he would meet with donors in coming weeks to make the case for why Afghanistan needed help during an intense humanitarian crisis in which 28 million people were in need of aid, including 6 million on the brink of famine.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Pakistan, Russia reaffirm commitment to practical engagement with Afghanistan

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 26, 2023)

Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs said Islamabad and Moscow have reaffirmed their commitment to continuing practical engagement with the Afghan authorities to ensure stability and peace in the country.

According to a statement issued Thursday, the two sides also expressed their commitment to joint efforts to solve issues related to regional security.

The statement came after a meeting between Russian Special Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov and Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday.

Underscoring that a peaceful neighborhood remained a strategic imperative for Pakistan, Khar stressed that Afghanistan, with its location as a bridge between Central Asia and South Asia, is central to achieving the full potential of socio-economic development and regional connectivity, Xinhua reported.

The minister also reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to working with other regional countries to achieve the goals.

He urged the international community to extend assistance and support in order to address urgent humanitarian needs and to provide a sustainable pathway for Afghanistan’s prosperity and development.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Ariana News. All rights reserved!