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Humanitarian actors pledge to deliver aid to millions of Afghans in need

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2021)

Humanitarian actors in Afghanistan (the UN and national and international NGOs) are committed to staying and delivering impartial and neutral assistance to millions of people in need, according to a statement on Monday. Ongoing conflict, spiralling food insecurity and the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a near-doubling of people in need in the space of 12 months – up from 9.4 million in January 2020 to 18.4 million in January 2021.

While intra-Afghan negotiations present the opportunity for a lasting peace, humanitarian actors are deeply concerned by continued violence across the country characterized by high levels of civilian casualties and almost 100,000 people internally displaced just this year.

Increasing conflict and bureaucratic impediments have required humanitarian organisations to assess, mitigate and navigate the changing operational space. Despite these challenges, some 165 humanitarian organisations continued working across the country and reached nearly 12 million people with life-saving assistance in 2020. Even with significant funding and operational challenges, 3.7 million people received aid during the first three months of 2021, demonstrating a strong capacity to stay and deliver assistance and protection to people in need, including in challenging environments. In the context of growing need driven by the pandemic, food insecurity, conflict and a looming threat of drought, humanitarian organisations are mobilising to scale-up support and continue to respond wherever assistance is most needed.

In order to achieve the above, humanitarian actors in Afghanistan ask the following to parties to the conflict:

Protect civilians, aid workers and civilian infrastructure such as schools and hospitals in compliance with International Humanitarian Law.

Provide unimpeded access and ensure that aid workers and service providers can deliver assistance and services without interference, in accordance with the principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality.

To donors and the international community:

Urgently release and increase funding to the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan.

In 2021, the UN and humanitarian partners in Afghanistan require US $1.3 billion to help 15.7 million people in need. Only $166.8 million (13 per cent) of the funding has been received so far.

Humanitarian Coordinator Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov says, “The COVID-19 crisis has already had significant consequences on the lives and livelihoods of Afghans and on humanitarian operations. At this critical time, it is more important than ever that we continue to work together to uphold the rights of all people in Afghanistan, including their right to life-saving aid.”

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Ashraf Ghani found to have lied countless times during his tenure

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2021)

Ashraf Ghani, former president of Afghanistan, has been found to have lied dozens of times during his seven years in office and made as many, if not more, commitments which he failed to keep.

During the inauguration of Kamal Khan Dam in Nimroz province in March this year, Ghani said that Afghanistan will export electricity to Pakistan and India within five years.

This was said despite Afghanistan relying heavily on its neighbors for at least 70% of its power.

Afghans on Sunday slammed Ghani and branded him a liar and said one cannot believe a word he said.

According to Afghans, Ghani was a deceptive president.

In another instance, Ghani pledged to stay in his home country and to never leave.

Just weeks before Ghani fled the country he said: “Everyone is going, but I am not going. It is my home and it is my grave.”

The following is a short list of commitments made by Ghani that were not kept.

1- Ghani promised to create one millions jobs, but instead five million lost their jobs.
2- During a trip to Badghis province, Ghani promised to establish an academic college and a technical school in every district. This never happened.

3- He also pledged to allocate and give land to all teachers. Again this never happened.

4- He made promises to supply all districts in the country with electricity. Less than 9% of the rural population have electricity, while 75% of Afghans live in rural areas.

5-Ghani promised to end the bloodshed in the country countless times. This never happened under his rule.

6-He also vowed to build 6,000 schools. Nothing came of this.
8- Ghani also made numerous promises to make sure that every family had food on their tables – yet most soldiers went without pay for months.

Kabul residents are angry and have not only accused him stealing over $168 million dollars in cash as he fled the country on August 15 but also labeled him a complete liar.

“Every speech of Ashraf Ghani’s was a lie. He deceived the people of Afghanistan.

“None of his commitments were implemented,” said Mohamad Maseh, a Kabul resident.

Ghani made dozens of other commitments that he never achieved, which has had a profound impact on the lives of ordinary Afghans.

Teachers were not only promised land but housing as well. This never materialized, while Ghani also went back on his word when he said he would pay the salaries of civil servants from his own pocket if needed.

“Ghani deceived the people and told hundreds of lies and then fled,” said Rohid, a Kabul resident.

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Muttaqi says non-recognition of IEA govt is benefitting Daesh

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2021)

Turkey can play “an active role in investing, realizing some projects, renovating and restoring Afghanistan,” with the resources it possesses, according to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s new acting foreign minister.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency during his visit to the country this week, Amir Khan Muttaqi said the official recognition of his government and international aid held great importance to the recovery of the country’s economy.

While in Turkey, Muttaqi met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and discussed issues related to the official recognition of the IEA and the unfreezing by the US of Afghanistan’s assets.

Muttaqi said the freezing of reserves by the US after the IEA’s takeover, violated international law and human rights.

He stressed money blocked by the US was sent from other states for the development of Afghanistan.

“The real question is, why was this money blocked? What did the citizens of Afghanistan do?,” he asked.

“On the other hand, the US and other countries say that humanitarian aid should be given to Afghanistan and human rights should be respected. But, they leave the Afghan people with a population of about 40 million without basic necessities.”

However, he told Anadolu Agency that not recognizing the new government in Afghanistan benefits Daesh (ISIS-K) but dismissed concerns that the group was a threat to Afghanistan.

“They are carrying out attacks on mosques and streets. You will agree that it is not an easy task to ensure the safety of all mosques and streets. They do not own any place in Afghanistan,” he said adding that “the fact that the new state in Afghanistan is not officially recognized is beneficial to Daesh/ISIS.

“The countries of the world, on the one hand, say control the Afghan people so they do not emigrate. On the other hand, they do not officially recognize the government and give morale to Daesh/ISIS. This is in the interest of neither Afghanistan nor the world,” he said.

Turkey and the new administration in Afghanistan held their first high-level contact after the IEA took power on August 15.

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Merkel hopes Germany continues to work with Turkey

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2021)

In a farewell visit to Turkey, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country will continue to maintain a working relationship with Turkey, and stressed the need for continued cooperation on migration and other issues.

“The relationship between Turkey and Germany, with its positive and negative sides, will go on,” Merkel told reporters at a joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the steps of Istanbul’s Dolmabache Palace.

“Everybody knows the security and independence of both our countries depends on each other.”

“We want to prevent human trafficking. It is essential … for the EU to support Turkey in this regard,” she said.

Merkel stressed that Turkey and Germany always have common interests, and added that this would be how the next federal government will see it.

Erdogan said Turkey would “always remember the good faith and the contribution” Merkel made towards maintaining ties with Turkey.

“From prevention of irregular migration from Syria, to dispatching humanitarian aid to northern Syria, on many topics Merkel did not abstain from taking the initiative and taking responsibility,” Erdogan said.

Merkel, who led Germany for 16 years, and Erdogan, who has led Turkey for 19 years, are perhaps the most seasoned political leaders in the region. At times, Merkel has pushed for maintaining ties with Turkey despite pressure at home over contentious issues such as migration and human rights.

Merkel is preparing to leave active politics later this year, but she will remain in her post until a new coalition government is formed.

Her Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) narrowly lost the general elections late last month.

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