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UN: 79% of Afghan people do not have access to heating devices

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(Last Updated On: November 17, 2022)

The United Nations has announced that 79% of Afghan people do not have access to heating equipment in the coming winter.

Aleksandar Bodiroza, Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Afghanistan tweeted Wednesday that, “79 percent of the country’s people do not have access to heating equipment.”

He also said that survival in the bitter winter is an additional challenge to the daily challenges of the Afghan people, and the United Nations Population Fund distributes winter aid packages to vulnerable families.

A few days ago, referring to the humanitarian crisis, Bodiroza said that women and their babies are at great risk due to the sudden loss of medical support.

Recently Abdullah Al Dardari, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Afghanistan, called on the international community to interact with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government and said the world has no other way to improve the human and economic situation in Afghanistan except to engage with the ruling authorities in this country.

Speaking in an interview on Monday, Al Dardari emphasized that the world did not have any choice except to engage with Afghans by any means and ways.

“While you see the political situation inside Afghanistan and in the global context regarding Afghanistan, is very difficult; we have to maneuver within all those mind fields but do we have another choice? That’s the question we ask,” said Al Dardari.

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UN deputy chief hopeful the IEA will lift restrictions on women

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

Amina Mohammad, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, has said that after meeting with some Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials she is hopeful that authorities could ease restrictions on women and girls.

In an interview with CNN, Mohammad, who visited Afghanistan earlier this month, was asked if she had any hope about IEA lifting restrictions on women and girls.

She replied: “Yes, I do. It was tough going in. But I feel now it is doable, looking at all the players and seeing some fissures within the Taliban (IEA), I think this is possible. We also had a few exceptions since then. So, yes there is hope.”

Amina said that there are differences of opinions within IEA in terms of carrying of edicts coming from Kandahar.

“I don’t think there is any change from their consolidation around that power base, but there is, in terms of carrying out some of these edicts, differences of opinions,” she said.

“I think in our visit, the recognition mattered. It was very clear that the humanitarian response that the international community was giving was really important. So we have some leverage and I think that is what we are trying to see, what is state of play in reality on ground,” Amina said.

Sima Bahous, the executive director of UN Women, said that when she asked IEA officials about the “further notice” in their decrees, they replied: “We need to build infrastructure, we need to build schools, we need to train the teachers, we need to change the curriculum for it to become less Western or actually not Western at all but Islamic and according to Sharia of what they believe they should learn.

“They believe women should only learn certain things about the Sharia and how to serve their husbands, families and their little community where they live,” she said.

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IEA welcomes World Bank report, urges resumption of incomplete projects

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Saturday welcomed the World Bank’s report issued this week and in turn called on the institution to resume incomplete projects that it had been working on in the country prior to the collapse of the former government.

The Office of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs said in a statement that it welcomes all the “positive points based on objective facts” in the report, which was a clear indication of Afghanistan’s actual economic development and mobility.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes that if the current restrictions on Afghanistan’s banking sector are lifted and the frozen assets are released, the economic situation of the country will take faster steps towards improvement and stability, and the burden on the international community will be lessened,” the statement read.

Earlier this week the World Bank reported that the price of food and fuel in Afghanistan has decreased, the value of the Afghan currency has remained stable against foreign currencies, there has been a significant increase in exports, and the salaries of government employees have been paid on time. In addition, the report noted that national revenues had also increased.

The IEA also called on all international organizations to raise awareness of the real situation in Afghanistan by pointing out the advancements made in Afghanistan, particularly in the economic sphere.

The statement called on international aid agencies and organizations to finance development initiatives in Afghanistan that will lower unemployment and improve the country’s economic situation.

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No evidence Russia turning to IEA for arms: White House

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2023)

The White House said on Friday it has no evidence to support reports claiming that Moscow has asked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to provide them with arms left behind by foreign forces in the country.

John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications for the US National Security Council told VOA that he can’t confirm the reports but “if it’s true, it certainly would fly in the face of what the Taliban (IEA) say their goals are,” he added, pointing to the IEA’s desire to be recognized internationally as the legitimate government in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon said in a report last year that the US left behind more than $7 billion worth of American military equipment.

This includes aircraft, vehicles, munitions, guns, communication equipment and other gear.

“We don’t have any indication of exactly where all those systems are, how they’re being used,” Kirby said. “Certainly, we don’t have any indications that the Taliban is willing to export them.”

IEA denies that it is providing Russia with weapons.

“This report is a lie,” Zia Ahmad Takal, deputy spokesman for the IEA’s foreign ministry, told VOA.

This comes after Russia recently turned to other nations, including Iran and North Korea, to help provide it with military hardware – almost a year into its invasion of Ukraine.

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