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UNHCR warns of looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 13, 2021)
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has warned of a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the escalating conflict brings increased human suffering and civilian displacement.
 
An estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since January 2021 – primarily due to insecurity and violence –  bringing the total uprooted population to over 3.5 million, the UNHCR said in a statement Tuesday.
 
Families forced to flee their homes in recent weeks cite the worsening security situation as the predominant reason for their flight.
 
In addition to ongoing fighting, displaced civilians have told UNHCR and partners of incidents of extortion by non-state armed groups and the presence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on major roads. Many have reported interruptions to social services and a loss of income due to rising insecurity.
 
The number of civilian casualties has risen 29 percent during the first quarter of this year compared to 2020, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). An increasing proportion of women and children were among those targeted.  
 
The needs of those who have had to flee suddenly are acute, UNHCR said in the statement adding that the organization and its partners are assisting newly displaced Afghans with emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support and cash assistance.
 
The UNHCR also warned that a failure to reach a peace agreement in Afghanistan and stem the current violence will lead to further displacement within the country, as well as to neighbouring countries and beyond.
 
The organization in turn called on the international community to step up support to the Afghan government and the people at this critical moment, in a spirit of solidarity and burden-sharing.
 
“Humanitarian resources are currently falling dramatically short. UNHCR’s financial appeal for the Afghanistan situation (including operations for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran) remains acutely underfunded, at only 43 percent of a total $337 million required,” the statement read.

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IEA defense minister leaves Kabul for UAE

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Ministry of Defense says Mawlavi Mohammad Yaqoob left Kabul for United Arab Emirates on Saturday.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, MoD said the defense minister left Kabul as head of delegation for the United Arab Emirates.

The defense ministry stated that the purpose of the trip is to meet with the leaders of the UAE and Afghans based in the country and to strengthen the relations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with the Gulf countries.

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IEA lays foundation stone for complex marking Khost prisoner-swap site

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is set to build a complex in the area where US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was released in 2014 in exchange for five IEA members held in Guantanamo prison.

Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who laid the foundation stone of the complex in Khost province, said that the complex will include a religious seminary, a school, a clinic and a freedom monument.

“Today is a very happy day for us. God has liberated our country… it is very fortunate that we are laying the foundation for a freedom monument here… release of the five prisoners was a source of happiness for Afghanistan,” Haqqani said.

Abdulhaq Wasiq, current head of intelligence, Mohammad Fazil Mazloom, deputy defense minister, Noorullah Noori, minister of frontiers and tribal affairs, Khairullah Khairkhwa, minister of information and culture, and Mohammad Nabi Omari, deputy minister of interior were released in a 2014 deal between the Obama administration and the IEA to free US soldier Bergdahl.

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US envoy stresses importance of Japan’s contributions to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2022)

US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, has held talks with Japanese officials on humanitarian needs, human rights and political dialogue during his two-day visit to the country.

“Japan has been a friend of the Afghan people and our partner there for over 20 yrs, and we deeply appreciate Japan’s active diplomacy and continued generosity today,” West said on Twitter on Saturday.

“We are always stronger, on every challenge, when we act together with allies. True in Afghanistan – we’ll continue to need Japan’s expertise and diverse contributions,” West said.

The envoy also said that he got “sage advice” from Tadamichi Yamamoto, a Japanese who served as UN envoy for Afghanistan during 2016-2020.

He also discussed the economic strategy with Japan International Cooperation Agency.

West’s Japan visit was part of his tour to the region that includes India and the United Arab Emirates.

West is expected to consult with partners and Afghans regarding the humanitarian and economic crises in Afghanistan, protection of Afghans’ rights, and shared security concerns, according to a statement from the US State Department.

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