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WFP sounds alarm over global food crisis, including Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: September 23, 2022)

A record-high number of people across six countries are either already starving or on the brink of disaster, a new report warned this week.

The latest Hunger Hotspots report, produced by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), reveals that Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen remain at the ‘highest alert’ as hotspots alone account for almost a million people facing catastrophic levels of hunger.

The report calls for urgent humanitarian action for 19 hunger hotspots in total, to prevent huge loss of life between October 2022 and January 2023.

It lays out country-specific recommendations for action – short-term protective measures in advance of new humanitarian needs materializing, and emergency response to address the current situation.

According to the report, in Afghanistan, the severity of food insecurity suggests that significant loss of life may already be occurring in the outlook period, as nearly 6 million people are expected to be in Emergency conditions by November.

After this, the risk of extreme food insecurity and significant loss of life will likely grow as another harsh winter coincides with the lean season.

The report stated that one of the driving forces behind the crisis was the ongoing La Niña weather event, which has been recurring since late 2020, and is expected to continue through December 2022 before transitioning to El Niño.

This La Niña event will continue to negatively impact agricultural activities, causing crop and livestock losses in many parts of the world including Afghanistan, Western and Eastern Africa, and the Syrian Arab Republic.

In Afghanistan, the ongoing La Niña is likely to result in below‑average rainfall during the upcoming September to February period, coinciding with the wheat‑planting and mid‑growing season.

In addition, expected warmer‑than‑average temperatures and a potential low snowpack in winter could reduce water availability for irrigation, the report stated.

This will come on top of two consecutive dry seasons since late 2020.

The report stated the economic contraction that followed the collapse of the former government, coupled with the impact of below‑average harvests, is increasing levels of hunger across the country.

WFP and FOA say concerns remain at the highest level for Afghanistan, as the country is also dealing with the effects of a deep economic crisis, exacerbated by increasing food, fuel and agricultural input prices, the freeze of Afghan assets and very high levels of accumulated household debt.

However, the report states that decreased conflict levels in Afghanistan have slightly improved the access of humanitarian organizations to people in need, but the presence of landmines, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war, operatio all challenges, and poor infrastructure continue to constrain humanitarian access.

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Afghan embassy in India suspends operations, diplomats from previous government leave



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

The Afghan embassy in India has suspended all operations after the ambassador and other senior diplomats left the country for Europe and the United States where they gained asylum, Reuters reported citing three embassy officials on Friday.

India does not recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and closed its own embassy in Kabul after the IEA took control in 2021, but New Delhi had allowed the ambassador and mission staff appointed by the Western-backed government of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to issue visas and handle trade matters.

At least five Afghan diplomats have left India, the embassy officials said. The Indian government will now take over the diplomatic compound in a caretaker capacity, one of the Afghan officials said.

Asked about the matter, an Indian foreign ministry official in New Delhi said they were looking into the developments, without giving any details.

IEA officials have yet to make comment on the matter.

India is one of a dozen countries with a small mission in Kabul to facilitate trade, humanitarian aid and medical support. Bilateral trade in 2019-2020 reached $1.5 billion, but fell drastically after the IEA took office.

Earlier this month hundreds of Afghan college students living in India despite the expiry of their student visas staged a demonstration in New Delhi to urge the Indian government to extend their stay.

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Two families reconcile in Nangarhar, end 17 years of enmity



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Nangarhar local authorities say a 17-year-old enmity between two families in Spinghar district of the province ended in a jirga held Friday and that the two sides reconciled with the mediation of the Islamic Emirate’s officials.

“Those who bring reconciliation among Muslims whether it’s on the ethnic or family level, have a place in our hearts,” said Nasrullah Haqyar, police chief of Spinghar district.

Meanwhile, the members of the involved families are also happy that their 17-year-old enmity has turned into reconciliation.

In the meantime, local tribal elders also said that if someone incites enmity again, they will be fined 200,000 afghanis.

“Jirga is something in which an issue can be resolved in very little time and with little consumption,” said Esmatullah Shinwari, a tribal elder in Nangarhar.

The Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs also pointed out that since IEA’s takeover, they have turned more than 40 big and small enmities into reconciliation with the cooperation of tribal elders in this province.

This comes that not only in Nangarhar but also in many provinces, the process of reconciling the involved families is going on quickly and many family conflicts have been resolved through Jirga.

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Serious management of water resources underway: Acting Minister Mansoor



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Acting Minister of Water and Energy of Afghanistan Abdul Latif Mansoor has said that the Islamic Emirate has started serious management of water resources.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ariana News, Mansoor said that due to the recent droughts, people of the country are facing a shortage of clean drinking water and to solve the problem, the ministry has started serious management of water resources.

Mansoor also pointed to the concern of some neighboring countries regarding the recent actions of the Islamic Emirate to manage the waters of Afghanistan, including over the Qosh Tepa Canal, saying that the concerned countries must share their concerns with the Islamic Emirate through bilateral talks.

The acting minister said that this year, 3 billion afghanis in development budget were allocated to the ministry, and most of the budget will be spent on unfinished projects of water dams.

Meanwhile, the Acting Minister of Water and Energy said that there is a capacity to produce 30,000 megawatts of electricity in the country and that the ministry has taken measures to attract more investments in the energy production sector so that Afghanistan can become self-sufficient in electricity production in the long term.

Mansoor says that in order to attract more investments in the energy production sector in the country, they are ready to cooperate with the private sector and will provide them with all facilities.

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