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UN engaging with Islamic Emirate on humanitarian aid and other ‘concerns’



(Last Updated On: September 11, 2021)

Marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States on Saturday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the organization is working with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to ensure much-needed humanitarian aid gets to needy Afghans across the country.

Guterres said: “The UN has a key role to play in humanitarian aid to a people that is now in a desperate situation. Desperate situation.

“And so, we decided that it was our duty to engage the Taliban (Islamic Emirate), to create the conditions for the possibility of effective humanitarian aid, impartial, to reach all areas and to take into account our concerns in relation to women and girls, for instance, to engage the Taliban, he said.

“What would be positive is to have simultaneously the formation in Afghanistan of an inclusive government – the fact that that government respects international commitments made by the Afghan State, and that a number of the concerns that we have expressed about terrorism, human rights, etc., are taken into account, and that that leads to a normalization of the relations of the international community with Afghanistan.”

Guterres also said he thinks it is essential to find ways “to inject some cash in the Afghan economy to avoid its meltdown”.

He stated that “the war must end; it doesn’t make any sense; there is no military solution. Humanitarian aid needs to reach everybody, everywhere, and it’s not the case at the present moment”.

Guterres’ comments come a day after the World Food Programme stated that 93% of Afghan families are not consuming sufficient food and that three out of four households are using extreme coping mechanisms, such as skipping meals or preferring to give food to children instead of adults.

The WFP conducted a telephone survey from June 17 to September 5, asking 1,600 random households per month about their food habits. The agency reported a “marked difference” between the period up to August 15 and then following August 20.

“The portion of families resorting to extreme coping mechanisms, those are things like skipping meals or preferring to give food to children instead of adults or limiting portion sizes to make food last longer had almost doubled”, WFP’s deputy regional director for Asia and the Pacific, Anthea Webb said.

Afghanistan is facing economic collapse after foreign countries and institutions said they would withhold aid and monetary reserves after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan took control of Kabul last month.

“It’s now a race against time and the snow to deliver life-saving assistance to the Afghan people who need it most. We need to be reaching nine million people per month by November if we are to meet our planned target of 14 million by the end of the year,” Webb said, urging donors to fill the 200 million dollars’ appeal ahead of an international aid conference for Afghanistan on September 13.

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Bayat Foundation provides much needed food parcels to Balkh residents



(Last Updated On: October 24, 2021)

Hundreds of poverty-stricken families in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, were given food parcels on Sunday in a drive by the organization to help desperate families ahead of winter.

Committed to helping the hungry, Bayat Foundation has so far sent hundreds of packages that include rice, flour and oil, to the destitute in Kandahar, Herat and now Balkh.

According to foundation officials, they are working as fast as possible to provide the essential food items to people before winter sets in.

“The Bayat Foundation continues to provide assistance to the deserving and displaced people. We have already distributed aid to people in Kandahar and Herat and today we have distributed in Mazar-e-Sharif,” said Haji Mohammad Ismail, Deputy Chairman of the Bayat Foundation.

Bayat Foundation has carried out comprehensive assessments in these areas to identify recipients in urgent need of help.

“Based on the Bayat Foundation’s survey results, we are distributing foodstuff for really deserving people,” said Yafes Saqeb, Head of Bayat Foundation in Balkh.

Recipients of the food parcels welcomed the foundation’s initiative and said a large percentage of local families are facing serious financial problems.

“People don’t have food. We welcome their assistance and want them to continue their help,” said Abdul Ghafar, a resident.

“In this dangerous time that people are living in, hungry, we really welcome the assistance. We want them to continue with this assistance,” said Mohammad Baqer, another resident.

“There is no work. Women have problems, and can’t leave [their homes]. We are grateful to them and hope they carry on helping us,” said Shakela, another resident.
Bayat Foundation officials have said they will continue to provide food parcels and hope to reach as many people across the country.

Hundreds of thousands of Afghan families are desperate amid a looming humanitarian crisis following the abrupt end to foreign financial aid and the freezing of Afghanistan’s assets by the US.

Families have been hit hard by the unexpected withdrawal of foreign organizations, diplomatic missions as well as the withdrawal of US troops.

Together these entities employed hundreds of thousands of people both directly and indirectly – people who now have no income. In addition to this, the 300,000 former security force members, who were paid by the US, are also now unemployed and penniless.

Afghanistan’s winters are particularly harsh, and given the collapsing economy, Afghans are extremely worried about what lies ahead.

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MoD to form a new, independent national army



(Last Updated On: October 24, 2021)

Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) officials said Saturday that they will establish a new army that is independent in order to defend Afghanistan’s territory and airspace.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, acting minister of defense and son of Mullah Mohammad Omar, founder of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said in a voice clip on Sunday that efforts are being made to safeguard Afghanistan’s territory and airspace.

“We intend to create a national and independent army under MoD to defend the country with high values. We will attempt to equip the IEA army with modern weapons. The army should have ground and airspace capabilities,” said Mullah Yaqoob.

The acting minister assured the international community and countries in the region that no one will be allowed to use Afghanistan terrority to carry out attacks against them.

“Countries in the world know that an army is impossible without foreign assistance. The world should help Afghanistan in this regard,” said Mohammad Sarwar Naizai, a military analyst.

The caretaker minister did not however provide further details about how the IEA will finance the army or whether it will include soldiers from the former government.

The previous Western-backed government paid the salaries of the then soldiers with money from the United States. On August 15, when former president Ashraf Ghani and all his top officials fled the country, the US and NATO-trained army and airforce disintegrated within hours.

The same day, IEA forces rolled into Kabul and took over as the new rulers. However, the foreign donor community and the US immediately cut off financial aid to Afghanistan and froze all the central bank’s foreign reserves – cutting off salaries to hundreds of thousands of former soldiers and government workers.

Some IEA officials meanwhile said that former government soldiers will be brought back into the army.

“We have left the way open for those people who were in security institutions in the former government. Some of them have returned already,” said Qari Saeed Khosti, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

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Pakistan denies reports it struck deal with US on Afghanistan operations



(Last Updated On: October 24, 2021)

Pakistan’s foreign ministry denied a media report which claimed that the two countries are “nearing a formalised agreement” to give Washington access to Pakistan’s airspace for operations in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has denied it struck a deal to allow the US to use its airspace for military and intelligence operations in neighboring Afghanistan.

“No such understanding is in place,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said in a statement on Saturday in response to media reports.

“Pakistan and the US have longstanding cooperation on regional security and counterterrorism and the two sides remain engaged in regular consultations.”

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said earlier this year that “there is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not.”

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