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NATO Defense Ministers agree to keep civilian footprint in country

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(Last Updated On: June 2, 2021)

NATO Defence Ministers on Tuesday agreed that continued support for the Afghan forces, the government and the people is the best way for them to contribute towards the peace process and that they will keep a civilian diplomatic presence in Kabul.

In a virtual meeting Tuesday, the ministers also agreed to continue providing advice and capacity-building support to Afghan security forces.

Following the virtual meeting, which was convened to discuss preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit and the way forward in Afghanistan, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “We are ending our military mission, but we are not ending our support to the Afghans.”

“We are also looking at how we can provide military education and training outside Afghanistan, focused on Special Operations Forces, and we are looking at how to fund the provision of services enabling Allies and the international community to stay in Kabul, including support for the airport.”

He said the drawdown of NATO forces is progressing in an orderly and coordinated way “and at every step, the safety of our personnel remains paramount.”

He also stated that NATO will continue its civilian diplomatic presence in Kabul.

“And we are also now working on how we can establish out of country training for the Afghan forces, especially the special operation forces. And then, on top of that, we are now working together with all the Allies, NATO Allies are working together to make sure that we can provide support to important infrastructure, to support the international community at large.

“We are fully aware that the situation in Afghanistan is challenging, fragile and difficult,” he said.

Stoltenberg said that over the past two decades, NATO Allies have provided substantive support to the Afghan security forces and helped to build a professional, strong Afghan army and security force, “which has proven very capable. And that has enabled [NATO] to gradually decrease our presence from more than 100,000 troops not so many years ago, to, at the beginning of this year,10,000 troops, and then we will end our military presence within a short time.”

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Bayat Foundation in Ghazni to help needy families

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2021)

The Bayat Foundation continues to help vulnerable families across Afghanistan and this week distributed hundreds of food parcels to people in central Ghazni province.

The foundation’s officials said they had so far distributed essential food supplies to deserving people in Herat, Balkh, Khost, Kunduz, Kandahar, and Bamiyan provinces.

Haji Mohammad Ismail, deputy head of the Bayat Foundation, stated: “Through its continued assistance, the Bayat Foundation was in Ghazni [to distribute aid] and further assistance will be distributed in other provinces soon.”

The foundation said it will do its best to reach vulnerable families during winter.

Grateful recipients of the food aid thanked the Bayat Foundation and said the packages were badly needed.

“We are thankful to the Bayat Foundation that provided us with foodstuff such are flour, rice, and oil and we call for further assistance,” one of the recipients said.

Another recipient added: “I am pleased that the Bayat Foundation is helping needy people during this cold winter.”

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UN seeks record $41 billion for aid to hotspots including Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2021)

The United Nations appealed on Thursday for $41 billion to provide life-saving assistance next year to a record 183 million people worldwide caught up in conflict and poverty, led by a tripling of its programme in Afghanistan.

Famine remains a “terrifying prospect” for 45 million people living in 43 countries, as extreme weather caused by climate change reduces food supplies, it said in the annual appeal reflecting a 17% rise in annual funding needs.

“The drivers of needs are ones which are familiar to all of us. Tragically, it includes protracted conflicts, political instability, failing economies… the climate crisis, not a new crisis, but one which urges more attention and of course the Covid-19 pandemic,” UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told a news briefing on Wednesday.

In a report to donors, the world body said: “Without sustained and immediate action, 2022 could be catastrophic.”

Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan are the five major crises requiring the most funding, topped by $4.5 billion sought for Afghanistan where “needs are skyrocketing”, it said.

In Afghanistan, more than 24 million people require life-saving assistance to prevent catastrophe, a dramatic increase driven by political tumult, repeated economic shocks, and the severe food insecurity caused by the worst drought in 27 years, Reuters reported.

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Four wounded in Kabul blast

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2021)

The Emergency Hospital in Kabul has confirmed four people were wounded in an IED explosion in Salim Karwan square in PD4 around midday Thursday.

The Emergency Hospital said in a tweet that the injured were taken to the hospital from the scene of the explosion.

The hospital said a child was among the injured adding the incident was caused by a magnetic IED attached to a vehicle.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Interior Ministry spokesman Saeed Khosti, however, said the incident was caused by an IED placed in a pot. He also claimed that there were no casualties in the blast.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two days ago, Kabul witnessed another explosion. The blast, which targeted an IEA vehicle, wounded five people, including members of the IEA.

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