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Afghan media worker commits suicide over financial stress

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(Last Updated On: November 6, 2021)

Haroon Niroomand, a media worker from Meshrano Jirga TV of Afghanistan, committed suicide this week due to financial stress, his relatives confirmed on Friday.

His relatives said Niroomand shot himself while his father, Nik Mohammad, said his son had been very worried about money.

“He looked at me, looked at his brother and looked at the house and said ‘how can we fund the expenses of the family?’ Because of this he was desperate.”

Niroomand had studied law and political science and had for the past seven years worked in the media industry – most recently for Meshrano Jirga TV as a technician.

“He was interested in the media and journalism. He wanted to become a famous journalist. When the government changed, he became desperate,” said Abdul Khaliq, the deceased’s brother.

“A big humanitarian catastrophe might happen in the winter, if the government, organizations and international organizations do not act,” said Payanda Mohammad Akbari, a relative of Haroon.

Media support organizations and some journalists meanwhile expressed concerns about the situation in Afghanistan.
“The suicide of Niroomand reveals the deep economic catastrophe that journalists and media in Afghanistan are facing,” said Hajitullah Mujadidi, deputy head of Free Journalists Association.

“Most journalists and media employees had jobs; now they face economic problems and many of them lost their jobs,” said Bais Mohammadi, a journalist.

“Journalists and media employees are jobless now and face an unclear situation. We call on media support organizations to act as soon as possible,” said Navid Kavosh, another journalist.

The cash crisis in the country has hit the media industry extremely hard, resulting in the closure of countless news outlets and across-the-board job losses.

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Parwan residents receive much needed food from Bayat Foundation

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

Hundreds of vulnerable families in Parwan province received much-needed food aid from Afghan charity the Bayat Foundation this week.

The leading charity organization distributed foods parcels – that included flour, cooking oil, and rice – to at-risk families in the province.

Bayat Foundation, so far, has distributed food supplies to thousands of vulnerable people in Logar, Maidan Wardak, Paktika, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Baghlan, Jawzjan, Paktia, Khost, Kunduz, Kandahar, Kunar, Urozgan, Kabul, and Bamiyan provinces.

Haji Mohammad Ismail, Deputy Head of Bayat Foundation, stated: “Today we brought food supplies to Charikar city in Parwan province to distribute to deserving and displaced people.”

“The aid included flour, rice, and oil. We will distribute aid to other provinces soon,” Haji Mohammad Ismail added.

Grateful recipients of the food aid thanked the Bayat Foundation and said they needed the food desperately.

“We are grateful for the much-needed aid [by Bayat Foundation] and call for the continuation of this assistance,” said a resident of Parwan.

Another recipient of the Foundation’s assistance said: “Food prices are high and we face unemployment; therefore, people are suffering financial hardship. This aid will help people.”

Bayat Foundation provides at-risk families with food supplies ahead of and through winter every year. This year, the foundation has ramped up efforts to reach as many desperate families in the country as possible amid the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis.

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AIB takes delivery of 6th cash aid package from UN

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

The sixth transfer of humanitarian aid in US dollars from the United Nations has arrived in Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank said on Monday.

The aid, totaling $32 million, was immediately handed over to the Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) on Sunday.

Da Afghanistan Bank, the central bank, has thanked the UN for its assistance in helping to overcome the current economic crisis in the country.

Last month the United Nations announced it would provide $20 million a week in cash as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by the end of March this year to save the banking system from running out of cash.

The Central Bank of Afghanistan announced four days ago that it had also received the fifth package of $32 million in cash from the United Nations.

After the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the United States froze nearly $10 billion in foreign reserves belonging to Afghanistan.

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IEA wraps up first day of talks with Norwegian authorities

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Monday members of their delegation, led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, to Norway met with Norwegian officials on Sunday and discussed issues related to the current situation in the country.

According to a statement issued by the (IEA), “a one-day joint meeting was held between officials of the acting Afghan government and a number of personalities in Oslo, the capital of the Kingdom of Norway”.

“During the meeting, the participants listened patiently to each others’ opinions and exchanged views on the current situation in the country.

“They affirmed that Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans, and stressed that all Afghans need to work together for the political, economic and security prosperity of the country.

 “The participants of the meeting recognized that understanding and joint cooperation are the only solutions to all the problems of Afghanistan,” read the statement.

The IEA also said all participants declared such meetings to be in the interest of the country.

Speaking at the end of the first day of talks, IEA delegate Shafiullah Azam told The Associated Press that the meetings with Western officials were “a step to legitimize (the) Afghan government,” adding that “this type of invitation and communication will help (the) European community, (the) U.S. or many other countries to erase the wrong picture of the Afghan government.”

Norway’s Foreign Ministry meanwhile said in a statement last week that Afghan representatives have been invited to Oslo from  23-25 January to meet Norwegian authorities, the international community, and other Afghans.

The statement noted that the meetings do not represent a legitimization or recognition of the IEA “but the de facto authorities must be talked with so that we prevent political situation leading to a worse humanitarian disaster”.

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