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UN inaugurates skills development project for Afghan refugee women in Pakistan

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(Last Updated On: September 4, 2020)

The UNHCR Representative in Pakistan, Noriko Yoshida Thursday inaugurated a skills development project aimed at improving skills and income-generating capacity for local and Afghan refugee women in Quetta city of Balochistan.

“UNHCR Pakistan had signed its first-ever agreement with NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, a private sector partner based in the United Arab Emirates, to conduct a project to support and empower marginalized Afghan refugee and local women through skill enhancement in Balochistan,” the UNHCR said in a statement.

The project would benefit 100 Afghan refugee and Pakistani women. These women will not only be trained but also be given monthly stipends to support their family while they work, the statement said.

Around 100 skilled and semi-skilled women will receive the advanced training in carpets weaving in two centers at Ghoasabad and Hazara Town of the city.

“Of total 70 percent are Afghan refugees and while 30 percent are Pakistani women,” the UNHCR noted.

The UNHCR Representative Yoshida visited the skill training center at Ghoasabad in Quetta and formally inaugurated the project where the female artisans will be trained and guided to produce Emirati-inspired designs.

Yoshida also interacted with the Afghan and Pakistani women and exchanged views on “how this project will make a difference in their lives.”

The Representative assured that UNHCR will continue to implement projects that empower women.

“The outcomes and impact of such initiatives are always beneficial. The project will enable these women to stand on their own feet as well as support their families in a dignified manner,” she said.

According to the UNHCR, currently, around 1,420,673 registered Afghan refugees are living in Pakistan.

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Parwan residents receive much needed food from Bayat Foundation

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2022)

Hundreds of vulnerable families in Parwan province received much-needed food aid from Afghan charity the Bayat Foundation this week.

The leading charity organization distributed foods parcels – that included flour, cooking oil, and rice – to at-risk families in the province.

Bayat Foundation, so far, has distributed food supplies to thousands of vulnerable people in Logar, Maidan Wardak, Paktika, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Baghlan, Jawzjan, Paktia, Khost, Kunduz, Kandahar, Kunar, Urozgan, Kabul, and Bamiyan provinces.

Haji Mohammad Ismail, Deputy Head of Bayat Foundation, stated: “Today we brought food supplies to Charikar city in Parwan province to distribute to deserving and displaced people.”

“The aid included flour, rice, and oil. We will distribute aid to other provinces soon,” Haji Mohammad Ismail added.

Grateful recipients of the food aid thanked the Bayat Foundation and said they needed the food desperately.

“We are grateful for the much-needed aid [by Bayat Foundation] and call for the continuation of this assistance,” said a resident of Parwan.

Another recipient of the Foundation’s assistance said: “Food prices are high and we face unemployment; therefore, people are suffering financial hardship. This aid will help people.”

Bayat Foundation provides at-risk families with food supplies ahead of and through winter every year. This year, the foundation has ramped up efforts to reach as many desperate families in the country as possible amid the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis.

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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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