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UK contributes £1 million to support Afghan refugees in Iran



(Last Updated On: January 18, 2022)

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Iran has welcomed the UK’s first-ever contribution from the United Kingdom in support of vulnerable refugees from Afghanistan.

The £1 million contribution through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will allow WFP to preposition assistance for potential new arrivals from Afghanistan with ready-to eat meals and other rations, the WFP said in a statement on Tuesday.

It also gives WFP the flexibility to channel part of the contribution towards supporting 31,000 refugees who have already been living in 20 settlements across the country, helping to stabilize their food security situation and avoid any further population movements.

This allocation will enhance WFP’s life-saving mission, allowing WFP to quickly respond to any increased additional needs through a combination of cash and direct food assistance.

“We’re extremely grateful to the FCDO for this generous contribution and its support to our operations in Iran,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Negar Gerami. “The harsh winter months, job losses, lack of cash and soaring prices have pushed the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan to new highs, with close to 23 million threatened by food insecurity. It is critical that WFP remains prepared to respond to any sudden onset refugee emergency.”

Simon Shercliff, the UK Ambassador to Iran said: “We are pleased to help Iran support the large numbers of Afghan refugees who have chosen to leave Afghanistan.

“This contribution enables WFP to provide these refugees with vital food assistance, including ready-to-eat meals and other rations. The UK stands with the people of Afghanistan and regional partners in pursuit of a stable, peaceful future for the country.”

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700,000 Afghan refugees deported from Iran in past 9 months



(Last Updated On: May 28, 2022)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) acting deputy minister of refugees and repatriation Muhammad Arsala Kharoti said on Saturday that about 700,000 Afghan refugees have been deported from Iran in the past nine months. 

Addressing a press conference during a visit to Herat province, Kharoti said many of these refugees have been forcibly deported. 

He said the issue of mistreatment of Afghans by Iranian officials has been raised with Tehran on a number of occasions. 

“We also contacted the Iranian government and summoned the ambassador for Iran; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed our dissatisfaction, so those who are accused of abusing Afghans should be found and those who are guilty should be punished,” Kharoti said.

During the press conference, a US-based charity handed over a large shipment of clothing to the ministry, which will distribute to vulnerable families across the country. 

Farhad Safi, Coordinating Director of the Zarmani Foundation, said: “We reached an agreement with the Ministry of Refugees to hand over these clothes and based on the surveys they have carried out, they will transfer this aid to all provinces, especially the provinces with the most vulnerable and needy.”

Officials at the charity say the shipment is worth about $5 million.

“We assure you that we will deliver the aid to the deserving and the vulnerable with full transparency,” Kharoti said.

This comes amid an increase in the numbers of deportees from Iran said officials. According to them, as many as 3,000 people return through the Islam Qala border crossing into Herat daily.

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Baradar meets Shiite ulema; says IEA does not want a monopoly of power



(Last Updated On: May 28, 2022)

First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Friday met with a delegation of Shia clerics and tribal elders and told them the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) does not want a monopoly of power. 

Baradar said that Afghanistan is the “common home of all Afghans” and its development is the “common responsibility of all Afghans”.

“The position of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is clear, it does not want monopoly of power,” Baradar told clerics and elders. 

According to the clerics and tribal elders, they have always supported an Islamic system and they support the Islamic Emirate. 

“We have always supported the Islamic Emirate and … we condemn all actions and efforts to weaken the existing Islamic system,” they said. 

They also described the Islamic Emirate as the “core of unity and solidarity among the tribes living in Afghanistan” and that the “ulema has always prevented any kind of insurgency and insecurity in Shiite-populated areas”.

“The Bonn Conference is a document of the birth of occupation, ethnic and regional prejudices, and on the contrary the Doha agreement is a document of freedom and unity and brotherhood between nations,” they said. 

Former ethnic dictators and other intelligence operatives who have maintained their interests in dividing the nation no longer exist here,” they stated.

The delegation also put forward some suggestions which they shared in writing with Baradar, the First Deputy Prime Minister’s Office said. 

The door of the Islamic Emirate is open to every citizen of Afghanistan, Baradar said. Adding that “we welcome anyone who serves Afghanistan and the Afghan people.”

He stated that the welfare and economic stability of the people is an important program for government which aims to improve the economic situation in the short term, provide jobs to the people and increase the country’s national revenue.

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India calls for enhancing Afghanistan’s counter-terrorism capability



(Last Updated On: May 27, 2022)

A top Indian official on Friday called for enhancing the capability of Afghanistan to counter terrorism and terrorist groups which pose a threat to regional peace and security.

India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval made the remarks while addressing the 4th Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe.

The two-day meeting was attended by the national security advisers and secretaries of security councils of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan.

The officials highlighted the need to find constructive ways to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and combating risks from terrorism emanating from the region.

“There is a need for all present at the Dialogue to enhance capability of Afghanistan to counter terrorism and terrorist groups which pose a threat to regional peace and security,” Doval said.

He said the foremost priority should be the right to life and a dignified living as well as protection of human rights of all the people in Afghanistan.

“Assistance should be accessible to all, respect for all obligations under international humanitarian law should be ensured,” he added.

In a meeting with his Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the event, Doval expressed concern over the massive volume of American weapons left in Afghanistan, saying part of it has fallen into the hands of terrorist groups and it poses threats to Afghanistan’s neighbors.

He said that the terrorists are operating freely in Afghanistan, stressing the need for the formation of an inclusive government in the country.

For his part, Shamkhani said that the formation of an inclusive government with the participation of different ethnic and religious groups in Afghanistan is a prerequisite for the creation of lasting stability in Afghanistan.

The Security Dialogue on Afghanistan is aimed at firming up a common approach for practical cooperation in confronting increasing threats of terrorism, radicalization and drug trafficking.

Enamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said that overall security prevails in Afghanistan. He called on the neighboring and regional countries to cooperate with the Afghan government to further improve security situation, saying it would benefit the region as well.

“IEA is committed to not allow any evil circle to disrupt security of neighboring and regional countries by using Afghanistan soil,” Samangani said.

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