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WHO chief warns that Afghanistan’s health system could collapse

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(Last Updated On: September 21, 2021)

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the Afghanistan health sector is on the verge of collapse but that the organization would help as much as it could.

Ghebreyesus, who visited hospitals in Kabul this week, said it was heartbreaking to hear from overworked nurses that they have not been paid in months.

He also said that many Afghans do not have access to health services and many have died in recent months due to a shortage of medicine.

“Health is a service that needs to be continued at all times. If Afghanistan’s health system collapses, the tragedy will be worse and many more lives will be lost. We can prevent this from happening, together,” he tweeted.

“WHO has been supporting the Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan National Hospital through our major trauma programme, including the provision of supplies, equipment and training. We reassured the medical team that we will #StayAndDeliver further help to the best of our abilities,” he added.

He said that over 2,300 health facilities, funded through the WHO program, are at risk of closing or cutting back on services.

“My heart broke hearing that nurses, who have been working day and night, haven’t received salaries in three months. They are doing the most invaluable job in the most difficult circumstances – saving lives! We must support them for their needs,” said Ghebreyesus.

Meanwhile, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and deputy minister of culture and information, said that Ghebreyesus met with Afghan Premier Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, and pledged to continue assisting Afghanistan.
“It was a good meeting. A pledge was made that more aid in the form of medicine will be sent to Afghanistan,” said Mujahid.

This comes amid growing concerns among the foreign community on the economic situation in Afghanistan.

“Well our first responsibility as UN present in Afghanistan was of course to engage with the Taliban (Islamic Emirate) and to put up front a strong commitment for humanitarian aid,” said António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General.

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UN Security Council to meet over situation in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday that will focus on the current situation in Afghanistan.

UNSC members are expected to discuss economic, humanitarian and security concerns.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) spokesman Bilal Karimi said the IEA welcomed meetings that are held with the aim of cooperating with the government and people of Afghanistan.

He also said that Afghans expect cooperation and that such meetings must be held in accordance with international laws and principles.

However, the IEA still does not have a designated UN representative – one year after taking control of the country.

Instead, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, who assumed leadership of the Afghan mission to the UN in December last year, will address the security council members.

The IEA does not however recognize him as the legitimate envoy to the UN.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Faiq said that he would address the security council meeting and speak on behalf of Afghans.

“On behalf of Afghans, in this important meeting, like always, I would like to raise the voice of my nation,” he said.

In September last year, the IEA asked the UN to accredit Suhail Shaheen, the head of the IEA’s political office in Qatar, as the new ambassador.

But in December, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in which it indefinitely delayed a decision over the rival claims to the representative seat for Afghanistan.

At the time, the IEA criticized the UN’s failure to decide on this issue, saying it was ignoring the rights of the Afghan people.

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Influential Muslim cleric al-Qaradawi dies at 96

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

Senior Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who was based in Qatar, died on Monday, according to a post on his official Twitter account.

The cleric was an Egyptian Islamic scholar and was chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

He was best known for his programme al-Sharīʿa wa al-Ḥayāh (“Sharia and Life”), broadcast on Al Jazeera, which has an estimated audience of 40–60 million worldwide.

He is also known for IslamOnline, a website he helped to found in 1997 and for which he served as chief religious scholar.

Al-Qaradawi published more than 120 books, and received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship, and is considered one of the most influential Islamic scholars today.

Al-Qaradawi has long had a prominent role within the intellectual leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian political organization, although he repeatedly stated that he was no longer a member. He has over the years been critical of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

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Rare 5,000-carat Afghan ruby unveiled in Dubai

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

A rare 5,000-carat gemstone that went on private display in Dubai has been heralded as a “blessing from heaven” for the residents of the impoverished village in which it was unearthed.

The ruby, which weighs about 1 kilogram, has been hailed as “one of a kind” due to its rich purple coloring and size, the National News reported.

The ruby was discovered in the village of Hyderabad, bordering Iran and Afghanistan and its owner said he hoped the unexpected find would help bring a change of fortune for villagers without access to schools, hospitals or even electricity for some.

The uncut stone could cost at least $10 million in the market, asset manager Patrick Pilati told The National.

“It was an accidental finding from the village called Hyderabad bordering Iran and Afghanistan. There is no mining activity in the village that is under the jurisdiction of Afghanistan,” he said.

The rough stone is deep purple in color and bigger than the palm of a hand.

A certificate of authenticity …by the International Testing Laboratory Gems and Jewellery, in Jaipur, Rajasthan in India, and shown to The National, stated the rough ruby weighs 5,010 carats.

Azad Rokhsati, a gemologist, who was also present at the event, confirmed the size and weight.

“I have never seen anything like this,” he said.

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