WFP to increase flow of aid to Afghanistan via Uzbekistan
Construction of new warehouse facilities has started at the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) Logistics Hub in Termez, Uzbekistan, and once completed the facility will allow for an increase and improved flow of humanitarian food to Afghanistan, WFP said on Tuesday.
“We are happy that the United Nations is expanding their warehouse capacity here in Termez,” Uzbekistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan Ismatullah Irgashev said. “At a time when two thirds of the population of Afghanistan rely on humanitarian assistance to survive, it is our duty as the international community to stand by their side.”
WFP’s existing Logistics Hub in Termez has served as a trans-shipment point for WFP’s Afghanistan operations since 2021. WFP plans to add an additional 8,000 square meters to the current 14,500 square meter warehouse capacity in the upcoming months. This will increase WFP’s total storage capacity in Termez by more than half, the agency said in a statement.
“With the support of the Government of Uzbekistan, more than 1,000 metric tons of food are crossing the border from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan each day,” said Hsiao-Wei Lee, Country Director for WFP Afghanistan.
“In the upcoming months, this increase to our warehouse capacity will greatly facilitate our ability to serve the 20 million Afghans currently in need of food assistance. While our partners and donors have been incredibly generous with their contributions, we still need an additional $1.5 billion to reach all the people we have planned to serve.”
In Afghanistan in 2022, WFP reached 23 million people, distributed 1.1 million metric ton of food and $325 million in cash transfers. Of the 23 million people assisted, 11.6 million were women and 12.3 million were children. WFP said it injects an average of $55 million per month into the local economy.
Iran holds ‘good negotiations’ with IEA over water rights
Iran’s foreign minister has said that Tehran had “good negotiations” with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) over the issue of water rights.
“We have the water rights issue on the agenda, and the [Iranian] president has assigned Hassan Kazemi Qomi [Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan] to follow up on the matter, with the view that the issues between the two countries should go in the direct direction and be resolved,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian told Iranian state media.
On the recent border clash, he said that the clash did not have any agenda, and the situation in Afghanistan is understandable for Iran.
Tensions between Iran and IEA escalated after Tehran accused Kabul of restricting the flow of water to Iran.
The tensions began last month after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned the IEA needs to “honor” Iran’s rights over the Helmand River.
IEA officials have stressed that they are committed to the 1973 water treaty between Iran and Afghanistan, but there is a lack of water due to drought.
EU-Central Asia summit calls for inclusive government in Afghanistan
Leaders of Central Asian countries and the EU chief met in Kyrgyzstan on Friday, where they discussed Afghanistan among other issues.
The meeting in Cholpon Ata was attended by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and a delegation from Turkmenistan.
On Afghanistan, the participants discussed common concerns over the deteriorating situation in the country and reaffirmed their commitment to see the country develop into a secure, peaceful, stable, prosperous country, according to a joint communique.
The leaders also recognised the efforts of the international community to assist the people of Afghanistan in a principled manner and in accordance with international law and universally recognized norms and principles, despite difficult circumstances.
Participants also called on the international community to step up humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and noted the key role of the UN in providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in a principled manner.
They underlined the importance of the establishment of an inclusive and representative government and the importance of promotion of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans citizens, in particular women, girls and ethnic groups.
IEA special forces kill key Daesh commander in eastern Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate’s special forces in an operation on Wednesday killed a top Daesh commander along with his accomplice in eastern Nangarhar province, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported.
This Daesh commander’s name was reportedly “Turab”.
The operation was conducted on Wednesday evening in Wuch Tangi village of Shiwa district in eastern Nangarhar province, according to the provincial officials reported by Bakhtar news agency.
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