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Norway urges support for U.N. fund to aid Afghans

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(Last Updated On: November 17, 2021)

Norway on Tuesday urged other countries to contribute to a United Nations fund by providing cash directly to Afghans so they can survive the winter, its foreign minister told Reuters.

With the Afghan economy “imploding”, the United Nations set up the fund last month to provide direct help for local households, bypassing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [IEA] and drawing on donor funds frozen since it took power in August.

Norway has pledged 200 million Norwegian crowns ($23 million) to the fund, which is managed by the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), Reuters reported.

“We encourage other countries to do the same, to pitch in to avoid a pressing humanitarian crisis and a potential famine,” Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said in an interview ahead of a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

Norway was also funneling cash to aid women’s organisations in Afghanistan, she said, and Norway’s humanitarian aid to the country would total 325 million crowns this year.

Norway will take over the U.N. Security Council presidency from January, read the report.

“I hope the discussion in the Security Council tomorrow will contribute to give some attention to the situation in Afghanistan … to mobilise more funds,” Huitfeldt said.

“(The fund’s) purpose is to build a bridge between a humanitarian effort and something more long-term, in order for people to support themselves,” she added.

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Chinese envoy accuses US of having double standards

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(Last Updated On: August 17, 2022)

Anti-terrorism operations should not be conducted at the cost of other countries’ sovereignty, China’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Wang accused the US of adopting “double standards” in the fight against terrorism.

He said that the number of terrorist organizations in Afghanistan has increased to more than 20 from less than 10 in 2001.

The envoy said that US drones are still patrolling in Afghan airspace.

“Anti-terrorism should not be conducted at the cost of other countries’ sovereignty,” Wang said.

According to the diplomat, the US pursued its own interests only in Afghanistan and the American political system and values brought chaos.

“The US promoted democratic system and Western values in Afghanistan, which did not conform to Afghanistan’s national conditions, the will of its people and the Afghan culture,” he said.

The envoy also criticized US for imposing sanctions on Afghanistan, including the freezing of its assets, saying it has caused hardships in the country.

Wang however said that China continued to help Afghanistan after the political change in August last year, including by delivering humanitarian assistance.

“Last year we overcame a lot of difficulties to open the air corridor for the pine nuts imports to China and more than 16,000 tons of pine nuts were exported to China which has brought more than $20 million dollars revenue to Afghan farmers and businessmen,” Wang said.

He said that China has plans to cooperate in the areas of mining and energy in Afghanistan.

“China and Afghanistan relations will become deeper and deeper in the future,” Wang said.

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Over 3,200 arrested in Kabul in one year after IEA takeover: Police

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(Last Updated On: August 17, 2022)

As many as 3,250 individuals have been arrested in connection with 2,000 criminal cases over the past year since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) seized the capital, police said on Wednesday.

Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for Kabul police, said that 52 individuals were arrested on charges of involvement in terrorist activities, with arms and ammunition.

According to Kabul police, 315 people were arrested for possession of drugs and alcoholic in 236 operations during the past year.

The police also announced that security scanners have been reactivated at four main entrances to Kabul city.

Musa Jan Ibrahimi, deputy chief of Kabul police, urged security personnel to be compassionate toward people.

“They should remove the instinct of revenge and adopt compassion,” Ibrahimi said.

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Herat youths call on IEA to create job opportunities

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(Last Updated On: August 16, 2022)

The young generation of Herat province has raised concerns about the high rate of unemployment in the province and said no initiatives have been taken over the past 20 years to create job opportunities for them.

According to them, hundreds of experienced and educated people have lost their jobs over the past year and that in this time the Department of Information and Culture has only managed to organize some training programs aimed at improving the capacity of young people.

“What we were hoping for was to change the system and take serious action for the youth, but as you can see, men and women are unemployed, girls’ schools are closed,” said Fatima Rezai, a resident of Herat.

“Unfortunately, the problems of the youth are economic problems and the current situation is known to everyone, there is no work and the projects have stopped, therefore, there is a need to restart these projects,” said another resident.

However, Herat’s Department of Information and Culture said that during the last year, efforts have been made to retain the youth who worked for the previous government, and that many of them are still employed within the department.

“We promise all our people, especially our youth, that in various sectors where there are gaps, Inshallah the Islamic Emirate will take action to solve it as soon as possible,” said Naimulhaq Haqqani, director of Herat’s Information and Culture department.

Hussain Naemi, head of youth affairs at the department said: “So far, we have been able to organize training classes for 1,000 young people, and in the field of youth capacity building, we have also done various technical and web workshops, English and computer classes.”

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