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Closure of government offices and ministries hampers service delivery

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(Last Updated On: August 23, 2021)

Most government departments and ministries in Kabul remain closed a week after the Taliban’s takeover of the capital, despite an improved security situation and repeated calls by the Taliban for government employees to return to work.

Kabul residents have now also started calling for government offices to reopen.

One resident, Mohammad Reza Nawoandish, said: “I have been going to the Ministry of Higher Education for a few days to get a document, but there is no one to do the work for us and submit our documents to us.”

“The ministries are closed and the people are facing problems, now the (security) situation is also good and we want the ministries to be opened so the people can solve their problems,” said Shir Ali, another resident.

“The ministries must be opened, the people are in trouble, although the security has improved, but the provision of services has been closed and this problem must be solved,” said Hussain Saddiqi, another resident.

The Taliban, meanwhile, say the opening up of Afghan ministries and institutions depends on staff returning to work. They assured government workers that they have no need to be afraid.

“The Islamic Emirate has announced that everyone should come to work and there is no obstacle but the employees are not willing to work, and the Emirate is trying to get the ministries to work as soon as possible, and we ask the employees to return to their jobs without any fear,” said Mawolavi Bilal Nazari, a Taliban member.

Haji Mohammad Idris has meanwhile been appointed as acting director of the Central Bank in a bid to resolve the issue of banks being closed, said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

On the other hand, experts have said the Taliban needs to announce the formation of a government as soon as possible.

“The Taliban must decide on governance as soon as possible so that the people know their fate and the Afghan administration must be activated and the people must be able to go about their daily lives; the Taliban are in a situation where they have to prove to the people that they have programs for the people,” said Hekmatullah Adalatyar, an international affairs analyst.

Following the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban last Sunday, most ministries except for the Ministry of Health and Urban Traffic have remained closed.

Health

WHO calls for $378 million to prevent collapse of health centers

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2021)

World Health Organization (WHO) officials on Tuesday said they have requested $378 million in aid in order to prevent Afghanistan’s health services from collapsing.

Dr Jamshed Tanoli, WHO’s health sector coordinater, said during a visit to Kandahar province on Monday, along with UN officials, that efforts are underway to keep 2,331 health centers open in Afghanistan.

“We are advocating to convince World Bank, USAID, and the European Union to sustain the funding to ensure that after June 22 we should have a medium to long term strategy to ensure the continuity of health services… also to focus on the COVID-19 as a whole you know the surveillance and laboratories expansion including the treatment centers,,” said Tanoli.

This comes after WHO warned earlier that Afghanistan’s health system is close to collapsing.
“We came here to let you know that we are here to serve the people of Afghanistan,” he said adding that the head of the cluster has requested almost 378 million (dollars).

“So that we are advocating Inshallah to get those funds to ensure the continuity of the services through the NGOs and of course through UN agencies and through all the partners,” said Tanoli.

United Nations Development Program in Afghanistan (UNDP) meanwhile said that the UN will play a greater role in the development of Afghanistan.

“So we are not here to provide the people a package of food, there are other agencies that do that. We are here to see how the people can have enough income to buy their own food,” said Abdullah Al Dardari, head of UNDP in Afghanistan.

The Kandahar governor, on the other hand, said that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is taking serious measures to provide security for international aid organizations.

“Necessary aid should be delivered for Afghan people. People face a lot of problems. Most people in Dand, Arghistan, Arghandab, Panjwayi and Zhari have been displaced. They lost their houses during US bombardments, now they don’t have any shelter,” said Haji Mohammad Yousuf Wafa, Kandahar’s governor.

This comes as many UN aid agencies warn of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan.

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Pakistan offers to host ‘urgent’ OIC meeting on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2021)

Pakistan on Monday offered to host an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers meeting on the worsening crisis in Afghanistan that has been called for by Saudi Arabia.

“We have also offered to host the meeting, in Islamabad, on 17 December 2021. We are confident that OIC member states will endorse this offer,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

According to a statement issued by Said Arabia’s official news agency SPA, the kingdom said: “Guided by principles of Islamic solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as Chair of the Islamic Summit, and in line with relevant OIC decisions on Afghanistan, called upon the OIC to, urgently, convene an Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting to discuss the humanitarian situation in the country and pathways for an urgent humanitarian response.”

The statement noted that the objectives of the meeting were to explore “means and mechanisms” for aid delivery in coordination with UN agencies, international financial institutions, and the international community for mitigating the humanitarian crisis.

“Impending economic collapse and further deterioration of living conditions will lead to more instability within Afghanistan, which will adversely affect regional and international peace and security,” the kingdom warned.

Pakistan’s Dawn News reported that Qureshi in turn stated that Afghans need assistance “more than ever before”.

“As you are aware, Afghanistan currently faces a serious humanitarian situation — millions of Afghans, including women and children, confront an uncertain future due to shortage of food, medicine and other essential life supplies. The advent of winter has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis,” he said.

The foreign minister urged the OIC to step in to help Afghans. “We should step up our collective efforts to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, provide immediate and sustained support to them, and continue to remain engaged with them for the well-being and prosperity of Afghanistan,” he said.

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Five wounded in Kabul explosion

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2021)

At least five people including Islamic Emirate (IE) forces were wounded on Monday morning when a roadside mine detonated in PD7 along Darulaman Road.

The explosion took place at about 9.45am local time close to Habibia High School and the target appeared to have been a Hilux vehicle.

According to eyewitnesses, the explosion had been from a roadside mine and caused casualties.

Some eyewitnesses said the Hilux vehicle was being driven by IE forces at the time of the explosion.

An Ariana News reporter in the area said according to eyewitnesses at least five people were wounded in the explosion including IE forces.

Immediately after the explosion, IE forces cordoned off the area, and ambulances were seen arriving at the scene.

So far no group has claimed responsibility for the explosion but ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan (ISIS-K), known locally as Daesh, have been responsible for a number of explosions in Kabul in recent months.

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