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UNICEF says over 90% of Herat earthquake victims are women and children

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(Last Updated On: October 12, 2023)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that more than 90 percent of the victims of this week’s earthquakes in Herat province are women and children.

Aid organizations have said the high casualty toll of women and girls was because of the timing of the first major quake, which happened at 11:11 am on Saturday morning. At that time of the day most village men are out of the house, while women and girls are at home.

In a post on X, on Wednesday, UNICEF also appealed for immediate funding of $20 million to help survivors.

This comes after two 6.3 magnitude quakes on Saturday, followed by a string of strong aftershocks and another 6.3 earthquake Wednesday that was epicentered in Herat but also felt in Farah and Badghis provinces.

Relief operations in Herat continue, while rescue workers continue to look for bodies. On Wednesday, aid organizations said there were over 400 people still missing after Saturday’s disaster.

The United Nations says aid has arrived in the worst-hit areas but that it is not enough.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary General, said: “I can say that some aid has been distributed, but it is not enough. If you are affected anywhere, no aid can arrive quickly and the current situation of aid delivery is challenging. We have international staff and “they are currently evaluating what they can get from other countries. We currently do not have enough funds and we need help.”

Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic church, has also appealed to the foreign community to help the earthquake victims.

He said: “I invite all people of good will to help the people of Afghanistan who have suffered after the devastating earthquake.”

The UN has meanwhile said that Wednesday’s earthquake also caused major damage to more than 110 villages. Gulran and Injil districts were impacted. In total, an estimated 17,000 people have been impacted by the earthquakes, leaving thousands of people homeless.

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Afghanistan withdrawal probe sparks anxiety within Biden administration: US’s McCaul

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(Last Updated On: April 12, 2024)

US Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, believes the probe into America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has sparked anxiety within the Biden administration.

“Are we going to get scalps? I don’t know, but are we going to hold people accountable? Yeah. And I think at the end of the day, my intent is to make sure that this never happens again,” McCaul told Axios in an interview.

US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee launched an investigation into America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan several months ago.

Democrats have slammed Republican investigations like the Biden impeachment inquiry as witch hunts. But Republicans argue the Afghanistan probe has yielded evidence that’s hard for the White House to ignore.

Meanwhile, Daily Mail has reported that hours of private testimony by two of the top State Department officials who oversaw the evacuation from Afghanistan lays bare the confusion at the heart of the operation, and how they failed to respond to warning signs that the Islamic Emirate was sweeping across the country.

Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, until he stepped down in December 2022, admitted that officials were never able to confirm how many Americans were on the ground and would need help.

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Kidnapped child rescued in Herat

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(Last Updated On: April 12, 2024)

Police have rescued a five-year-old girl kidnapped in Herat province, the Ministry of Interior said on Thursday.

Fahmia had been kidnapped nine days ago in the seventh district of Herat city, the ministry said on X.

She was rescued during a search operation, it added.

Two women have been arrested in connection with the case, according to the ministry.

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Banning girls’ education has caused economic issues: private school officials

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(Last Updated On: April 11, 2024)

Officials from private schools say banning education of girls above the sixth grade has resulted in serious financial problems for these schools.

According to them, with the ban on education for girls above the sixth grade, not only schools but also teachers and the transportation cycle have suffered economic problems.

Meanwhile, girls who have been barred from going to school ask the Islamic Emirate to reopen the gates of schools and universities to them by creating a suitable plan.

“I request the authorities to reopen schools and universities for girls so that our country can progress,” said a female student.

“My request to the Islamic Emirate is that it should reopen schools above the sixth grade,” said another student.

Although a few days have passed since the beginning of the 1403 academic year, the IEA has not given the green light to reopen schools for girls.

“Some problems have different causes in the education sector, there are some restrictions in the women’s work sector, which are either based on Sharia rules or based on economic issues. The government is committed to solving these issues,” said IEA’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Earlier, Amnesty International emphasized the need to immediately reopen schools and universities for girls.

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