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UNFPA appeals for $250 million funding to sustain humanitarian response

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(Last Updated On: March 8, 2022)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is seeking to raise $251.9 million to continue and expand its services in Afghanistan in a bid to address the reproductive health and protection needs of 9.3 million Afghans.

According to UNFPA’s 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan, of the 9.3 million Afghans, 2.2 million are women of child-bearing age, 2.3 million are adolescents, and 289,000 are women expected to give birth during the year.

UNFPA’s target reach covers 42 percent of the overall UN target population for assistance under 2022 Afghanistan HRP, which requires $4.44 billion funding.

UNFPA Representative Dr. Aleksandar Sasha Bodiroza has emphasized the serious impact of the unprecedented crisis among women and girls who suffer the most.

Bodiroza cited the fact that every two hours, an Afghan woman dies from preventable childbirth and pregnancy complications, which could only get worse without timely action.

From August to December 2021, UNFPA reached over a quarter million people with reproductive health and protection services through various service delivery points.

One recipient was Anisa and her two young daughters, IDPs in Kandahar, who benefited from the assistance.

“The Mobile Health Team is good. I was examined by a midwife who advised me to delay another pregnancy as I just had a miscarriage. She explained how I can plan for pregnancy and I decided to go for it so that my husband and I can also plan for the future of our family,” Anisa said.

She also received psychosocial counseling as she talked about the trauma of losing her baby.

Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal death rates in the Asia and the Pacific region at 638 deaths per 100,000 live births, and the situation is expected to get worse without timely and appropriate interventions for maternal health.

Anisa said at the same time she had a miscarriage, her two-year-old daughter took ill. “We both needed medical care,” Anisa said.

The loss of her baby and the uncertainty of the situation in the country also affected her psychologically.

“We did not know where to go until one day in September, an ambulance came to our community and we were told to come for free health services,” Anisa said. “I immediately ran to our house to take my two daughters so the three of us could get a check-up.”

The ambulance that visited Anisa’s community was one of the Mobile Health Teams (MHT) that UNFPA mobilized in various locations in Afghanistan to bring reproductive and other basic health services to remote areas affected by the severe disruption of health services across the country.

Anisa said that since September, the MHT has been visiting her community at least twice a month and they set up the mobile clinic just next to her house. The availability of free health services helped the young mother gain some optimism despite the difficult situation.

“I grew up not knowing where I was born, my family kept moving from one place to another.  Now I am married and have kids.  I dream to see my family live in peace.”

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Afghanistan will no longer turn into battlefield for superpower nations: Muttaqi

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi says the Islamic Emirate will “not allow Afghanistan to enter the battlefield of powerful countries again”.

At an event on Thursday at Kabul University, Muttaqi said that Afghanistan has good diplomatic relations with regional countries, and a number of Afghan embassies in the region and the world receive orders from Kabul.

“After this, we don’t want Afghanistan to be a battlefield between the superpowers. If there is a confrontation, it should be positive and economic,” said Muttaqi.

“According to the geography of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate is trying to make Afghanistan the center of economy and connectivity because the region is in great need of energy.”

He emphasized that Afghanistan does not have a problem with the world and that it “has been practically proven that Afghan soil is not used against any country.”

“We also call on the countries of the world that we do not have a problem with any country, the commitment made by the Islamic Emirate is that the soil of Afghanistan will not be used against any country,” he said.

He also said that the report of international organizations in reducing corruption and improving the economic situation in Afghanistan is “hopeful”.

A number of other officials of the Islamic Emirate have said that Afghanistan has been able to move towards improvement in the economic sector despite sanctions.

“In one and a half years, how has the Islamic Emirate been able to move towards improvement in the economic field despite the political and banking restrictions?” asked Deputy Minister of Economy Abdul Latif Nazari.

“You must have read the recent report of the World Bank that Afghanistan’s exports have broken an unprecedented record.”

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Foreign Ministry condemns US move to impose further travel restrictions on some IEA leaders

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) considers the recent statement by the US State Department on additional visa restrictions on some leaders of the Islamic Emirate as an obstacle to the development of ties between the two sides.

According to a statement published on Thursday, the foreign ministry said that the IEA as a responsible government, is committed to all rights of Afghans which are necessitated by the Islamic religion.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminds the United States that despite the financial and banking sanctions, the Afghan government strives to provide its people with a prosperous life,” the statement read.

“The continuation of illegitimate sanctions on the financial and banking system of Afghanistan is a flagrant violation of the human rights of Afghans, restricting access of Afghans to many spheres of a prosperous life, including education and health.”

The ministry also said that the US “must remain committed to the Doha Agreement” and through implementation, demonstrate that legal documents and agreements signed with the US are trustworthy, adding that the ministry is ready to discuss all outstanding issues with the US.

According to MoFA, the IEA condemns the recent decision of the US and underscores that the disputes should be resolved via diplomatic channels and positive steps.
“Our biliteral interactions have proven that pressure is not helpful in resolving issues,” the statement read.

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Our Afghan policy has failed: Pakistani senator

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Tuesday said “our Afghan Policy has failed”, local media outlet ARY News reported.

Addressing the Senate earlier this week, Mushaid Hussain said that “failing to formulate the counter-terrorism policy is our incapacity”.

“We are in the state of war since last 43 years,” he said. “Five-billion-dollar Afghan Jihad fought, the consequences are before us,” he said.

“The battle for power will devastate Pakistan. People want a solution of the problems, an incompetence will not be allowed”, he said.

Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani had earlier said that a joint session of Parliament scheduled for February 8 should include a discussion on the country’s national anti-terrorism policy.

“Terrorism has been on the rise, while the political parties are busy in the political tug of war,” he lamented. “All political parties should sit in the parliament to hold a national dialogue,” he advised.

Islamabad has increasingly been pointing fingers at Afghanistan accusing the Islamic Emirate of providing sanctuary to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group which has carried out number attacks against Pakistan in the past few months.

The IEA has however continued to deny reports that TTP is being given a safe haven in the country, and has repeatedly told its neighor that militant groups will not be allowed to pose a threat to any country from within Afghanistan.

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