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UN and partners seek $1.3 billion to help 16 million Afghans



(Last Updated On: January 13, 2021)

The UN and humanitarian partners in Afghanistan need $1.3 billion to assist almost 16 million people in need of life-saving assistance as a result of decades of conflict, recurrent natural disasters, and the added impact of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued by the UN on Tuesday night, the organization said the number of people targeted for assistance is over a six-fold increase compared to four years ago, when 2.3 million people were targeted for assistance.

According to Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, the situation of children is particularly worrying.

“It is projected that nearly one in two children under the age of five will face acute malnutrition this year,” Dujarric said.

Hunger is “soaring” as people have lost their livelihoods, he added, noting that in 2021, nearly half of Afghanistan’s population will need humanitarian assistance to survive.

According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), across Afghanistan, about 18.4 million people are in need of assistance, a number that rose sharply last year with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“While enduringly resilient, people are increasingly desperate, resorting to debt and other more dangerous coping mechanisms to survive including marrying off their young daughters and sending their children to work,” said Parvathy Ramaswami, Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan.

The survival of the 15.7 million most vulnerable depends on humanitarians operating there receiving sufficient financial resources to deliver a response, she noted, adding that “the consequences of late or inadequate funding are very real.”

The outlook for 2021 has worsened further due to significant unmet needs last year due to funding shortfalls and the acute focus on COVID-19, as well as the slow rollout of complementary development assistance, a response plan noted.

Ramaswami went on to note that in spite of the bleak situation, there is “still cause for hope” with the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations.

“After enduring decades of war, people are mentally exhausted and hungry for peace, yearning for an end to civilian deaths and suffering.”

She also highlighted the need for a permanent ceasefire or a persistent reduction in violence, to allow humanitarians to assess the situation, especially in the hard to reach areas.

“Until this much hoped for peace becomes a reality, the humanitarian community stands beside the people of Afghanistan during what surely must be one of the country’s difficult periods,” the UN official added, stressing “we all must do more, stretch higher, and do better to deliver life-saving assistance to those who need it most.”

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Yes, US drones patrolling in Afghan airspace which is a clear violation: Stanekzai



(Last Updated On: September 22, 2023)

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, deputy foreign minister for political affairs, says the ongoing patrolling of US drones in the airspace of Afghanistan is a clear violation being committed by this country.

Speaking in an inclusive interview with ArianaNews, Stanekzai said that Islamic Emirate officials have shared this issue in the negotiations with the American delegations and demanded to stop the violation of Afghanistan’s airspace.

“Yes, there are drones patrolling in Afghanistan’s airspace, and we repeatedly shared this issue with them (the Americans) in the meetings, and they have violated this article,” said Stanekzai.

“According to Doha agreement, after the withdrawal of US forces, this country would have friendly relations with the new Islamic government of Afghanistan and would play an active role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and encourage other countries in this direction, and definitely not to interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan,” he added.

In addition, related to some Central Asian countries’ concern regarding Qosh Tepa canal construction, he said that this canal is an Afghan project and the government will complete its work.

“This canal is an Afghan project and the government will continue to complete it,” Stanekzai said.

Meanwhile, deputy foreign minister assures Afghan women and girls that the process of education will be opened for them and that the IEA is committed to providing their educational and educational rights.

“As an Afghan, I can say that education will not be banned till the end, it should not be banned, and this is the natural and religious right of girls,” he stressed.

Stanekzai stated that schools and universities will be opened to girls once the conditions are prepared.

He once again called on the opponents of the Islamic Emirate to return to the country.

Regarding Pakistan’s concern over TTP, he emphasized that Afghanistan has achieved complete security after a long war and that neighbors should not associate their problems with Afghanistan.

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Nearly 7,000 poultry farms operating in Afghanistan: ministry



(Last Updated On: September 22, 2023)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) officials say they are trying to provide the ground for the expansion of investment in the production of eggs and chicken meat in the country.

The ministry officials say there are currently about 7,000 poultry farms in the country and the number of these farms is increasing every day.

Meanwhile, egg and chicken meat importers union said that domestic producers only supply five percent of eggs and chicken meat in the country’s markets and cannot meet the market’s needs.

They ask the agriculture ministry to provide the necessary facilities in the field of importing eggs to the country.

“It was 10 percent of the product, which has increased by 16 percent. We don’t even have 5 percent of production, if there is production, they should supply our market, we will stop importing at all,” said Sayed Ahmad Kohdamani, head of egg and chicken meat importers union.

A number of egg sellers also say the domestic production is small and most of the eggs are imported from Iran, Uzbekistan and Pakistan and sold in the markets of the country, and their prices have also increased.

“It’s not a problem for us, because we import, we pay our taxes, but raising an egg from six rupees to nine rupees with the lie and conspiracy that we have domestic products, nothing is available at all, said an egg seller with concern.

“Previously, we used to bring the goods and pay ten percent, which we offered to the people for seven and six and a half afghanis, while we sell one egg for approximately eight to eight and a half rupees,” the seller added.

Finance ministry officials meanwhile speak of serious measures that they will control the price of food items in the domestic markets and emphasize that the seasonal tariffs of some items, including eggs, have increased and may be reduced if necessary.

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Sixty tons of expired food items and medicines destroyed in Balkh



(Last Updated On: September 22, 2023)

The Directorate of Public Health in Balkh province has burnt nearly 60 tons of poor quality and expired food items and medicines collected over the past four months.

The materials, which include 35 tons of medicines and 24 tons of food items, were collected from the provincial capital Mazar-e-Sharif city and districts.

Officials in Balkh Public Health Directorate said that the burned materials were valued 8 million afghanis.

Government institutions speak of serious fight against the buying and selling of poor quality and expired items.

“God willing, we intend to designate an area for the Public Health Department of Balkh province, and then, God willing, we will set fire in that specific place,” Mohammad Mohammadi, the head of Balkh Environment Protection Department, said.

Officials in the Pharmaceutical Services Union in North Zone said that they are taking serious measures to prevent imports of expired medicines.

“We pledge to the people that we will produce quality medicines according to the people’s demand and sell it to the people under the supervision of the food and drug authority and the Department of Public Health,” Shoaib Safi, the head of the Pharmaceutical Services Union in North Zone, said.

According to official data, nearly 120 tons of expired and poor quality medicines and food items have been collected and destroyed in Balkh in the past one year.

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