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Paktika earthquake victims claim aid distribution process is unfair 

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(Last Updated On: July 10, 2022)

Some of the victims of the recent earthquake in Paktika have said the aid distribution process is unfair and that only a limited amount of aid has reached the intended victims.

Some residents of Gayan district, whose houses were destroyed in the deadly earthquake last month, have called on the government to be transparent in the process. 

“With this aid nothing can be done, because I want to rebuild one room which costs 100,000 Afghani but so far even 5,000 Afghanis have not been donated to us, you can’t build a room with 5,000 Afghani,” said Mohammad Hassain, a resident of Gayan district.

Another resident said that cash aid was only being given to victims with contacts. 

“No one heard our voice, we visited many times, even today, cash aid came and they were registering it, but it was given only to those who had links, but while our houses were destroyed, no one gave us money,” said Omar Khan, another resident of the district. 

A number of other residents of Gayan district say that the people of this district have suffered huge financial losses in addition to the human casualties and that help to rebuild houses is what is needed. 

“Gayan district has a very narrow area, but the people who live here are many, and the government should distribute land to the people in Paktika or other provinces, and the high casualties are due to the large number of people in the small area,” said Zafar Khan, a resident of Gayan district. 

“Currently, if people are not helped to rebuild their houses, our people do not have the economic capacity to rebuild their houses,” said Daoud Khan Haqmal, another resident of Gayan district. 

Officials distributing aid in the area meanwhile acknowledge that there have been some problems but say in order to be transparent they are working with Imams from local mosques and tribal elders to distribute the aid. 

“The process is transparent as much as possible, but there are some problems, for example, one or two houses in an area were destroyed and we could not handle it properly, but all the aid is distributed according to the arranged list, and nothing is given to anyone by links, it is given only to those which are listed through Mullah Imam or tribal elders,” said Sayed Hassan, who is responsible for distributing aid to the victims in Gayan district.

Government has said however that it is trying to provide basic assistance to the victims who need to rebuild their houses. 

On June 21 a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit the Spera district in Khost province in  eastern Afghanistan. Over 1,000 people were killed and at least 3,000 more were injured while thousands of houses were destroyed across Paktika and Khost provinces.

The most affected districts were Gayan, Barmal, and Ziruk districts in Paktika province and Spera in Khost.

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US understands importance of Chabahar Port for Afghanistan: India

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The United States understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide the country economic alternatives, India’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

 India recently signed a 10-year agreement to develop and operate Iran’s strategic Chabahar Port as New Delhi aims to boost trade ties with landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, bypassing ports in its western neighbour and arch foe Pakistan.

But the deal has prompted a thinly veiled threat of sanctions from the United States, with whom India has developed close economic and military ties in recent decades.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Randhir Jaiswal, noted that since 2018, India has supplied 85,000 metric tons of wheat, 200 metric tons of pulses and 40,000 litres of pesticide Malathion to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port.

“The United States also has an understanding…understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide Afghanistan economic alternatives,” he said in a press conference.

“Our External Affairs Minister also spoke on this matter in several forums recently, where he said that we should not take a narrow view of this particular project, it has an important role to play as far as the region is concerned, connectivity is concerned, particularly for the landlocked countries in the area,” he added.

He also said that Russia‘s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, met with an Indian delegation led by Joint Secretary, J.P. Singh, who looks after Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, in the Ministry of External Affairs, essentially exchange of views on the ground and the situation and how the two countries look at the situation.

He said that they emphasized on the need to provide development assistance and humanitarian support to the people of Afghanistan.

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Nicaragua president sends letter of condolence to IEA leader after floods

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The Afghan Embassy in China announced Saturday that the President of Nicaragua has sent a letter of condolence to the leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, following the recent deadly floods in Afghanistan.

Based on the embassy’s statement, the letter was handed over by Michael Campbell, the Nicaraguan ambassador to China, to Bilal Karimi, the Afghan ambassador to China.

In the letter, Nicaragua president, Daniel Ortega, while expressing his sympathy over the floods, expressed his interest in establishing good relations with the Islamic Emirate and cooperation in various fields.

The Nicaraguan ambassador stated that the Nicaraguan people, like the Afghans, achieved independence after a hard struggle against the colonialists, which is a common point between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Bilal Karimi, Afghanistan’s ambassador to China, has said that he will convey the condolence letter of the President of Nicaragua to the leader of the Islamic Emirate. He also assured of maintaining good relations with the country.

Karimi emphasized that all Latin American countries are important, but Nicaragua’s taking the initiative is a positive and admirable move.

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UN Doha meeting should reflect realities of Afghanistan: Iranian envoy

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said in a meeting with his Italian counterpart that the next UN-convened meeting on Afghanistan should reflect the realities of the country.

Qomi said that Tehran is ready to work with Europe on the development of a comprehensive cooperation plan for Afghanistan based on the consultations it has conducted.

He added that the topics of the third meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan in Doha should be based on the realities of the region and Afghanistan.

“The actions of countries outside the region have not been useful in solving the crisis and challenges of Afghanistan so far, and if this situation continues, Europe will also be plagued by the problems,” he said.

The last meeting of the United Nations on Afghanistan was held in Doha in February this year, but it failed to achieve its primary objectives.

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