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International Women’s Day highlights challenges Afghan women face

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(Last Updated On: March 8, 2021)

International Women’s Day was marked by Afghan women from all walks of life on Monday, including female officials, women security force members and civilians.

For many however it was a day that highlighted the challenges, pain and suffering so many face on a daily basis.

One victim of domestic violence, Zahra, spoke out about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her drug addict husband, who she said set fire to her and their house three months ago.

“He rescued his brothers first; when my turn arrived I was unconscious,” stated Zahra.

Doctors who treated Zahra said she sustained burns to 50 percent of her body and had to be hospitalized following the incident.

President Ashraf Ghani meanwhile said in a taped video marking the day that Afghan women have made enormous progress in the past few years and that they will represent themselves.

“Afghan women participate in national discussion as women,” said Ghani.

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said however that violence against women has increased in the past few months.

According to the AIHRC six women have been killed in recent targeted attacks.

“We demand women’s participation in peace talks, [women] from across the country and a ceasefire needs to be declared and [there needs to be] a reduction in violence,” said Shaharzad Akbar, head of AIHRC.

“Women are victims of the clashes and the continuation of war violates human rights especially women’s rights,” said Shabnam Salehi, a member of AIHRC.

Beside domestic violence Afghan women say that they are concerned that their achievements made over the past 20 years will be compromised in the peace talks and in any future peace agreement.

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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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Pakistan’s PM renews call for humanitarian aid for Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 23, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday reiterated calls for the international community to provide urgent humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Khan said in a tweet that under the UN Principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P), it was obligatory to help protect people from the mass-scale humanitarian crisis left in the wake of a prolonged conflict.

“Right now millions of Afghan people are in danger of starvation,” he said adding it was the “duty of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance.”

UN agencies have warned that more than 23 million people are at risk of starvation if aid is not provided.

Earlier this month, the UN agencies launched a call for $4.5 billion in aid for 2022, its biggest-ever international appeal. The US responded with a donation of $308 million to be channeled through independent humanitarian organizations.

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