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UNHCR calls for urgent assistance for thousands of Helmand residents

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2020)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Wednesday called for urgent protection and assistance for tens of thousands of civilians displaced by the recent escalation of violence in Helmand province. 

Although the exact number of displaced people is not known, local authorities estimate more than 5,000 families – about 40,000 people – have fled in the 10 days since clashes started. 

UNHCR said in a statement “Many ran for their lives with no belongings.”

‘’This latest eruption of violence and displacement reflects the multitude of challenges Afghanistan is facing today,’’ said Caroline Van Buren, UNHCR Representative for Afghanistan. 

“More support is urgently needed as the country grapples with insecurity in some parts, on top of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

UNHCR, as part of the government-led joint humanitarian response, is helping affected people in Helmand. Initial assessments have identified more than 5,000 displaced people in need of immediate assistance. The number is expected to rise as teams continue assessments, the agency said.

“In the last few days, UNHCR has dispatched emergency shelter kits and essential household items such as blankets, plastic sheets, water buckets, cooking utensils and hygiene kits. In addition, UNHCR is providing cash assistance for particularly vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, children and women at risk, people with disabilities, and those with serious medical conditions. 

The refugee agency however said their initial assessment found that many displaced families urgently need food, water, shelter, hygiene kits, latrines, and cash for rent and other purposes.

‘’Humanitarians are working with limited access to the majority of displaced civilians,’’ said Van Buren. 

“Disruptions in telecommunications, the threat of improvised explosive devices and the continued closure of the highway between Kandahar and Helmand following the destruction of several bridges are adding to the challenges.”

The agency said mobile health teams are delivering services to displaced people in Lashkargah city, where the majority of displaced Afghans are currently staying. 

“Living conditions are poor with many living in open spaces, in rented accommodation shared with several families, or in shops in the vegetable market.”

More than 220,000 Afghans have been newly displaced by conflict so far this year while another 456,000 people were forced to flee their homes in 2019, adding to an overall figure of around 4.1 million people displaced in Afghanistan since 2012. Conflict and poverty have prevented most of them from returning to their areas of origin.

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Pakistan seal semi-final T20 World Cup spot after beating Namibia 

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(Last Updated On: November 2, 2021)

Pakistan defeated Namibia by 45 runs on Tuesday night in Abu Dhabi to become the first side to qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2021.

Chasing a formidable target of 190, Namibia gave a good account of their ability and promise and eventually finished with 144-5 as Pakistan collected the two points they needed to go through to the next round.

Pakistan’s total is the second-highest in this tournament, behind Afghanistan’s 190-4 against Scotland in Sharjah.

Afghanistan’s next T20 World Cup match is on Wednesday against India.

 

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Ariana News and Ariana Television fully support the Bayat Foundation’s initiative to raise funds to provide emergency aid to poverty-stricken Afghans. As official media partners we appeal to you to help provide food essentials to as many Afghan families as possible.

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COVID-19

US administers over 420 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines

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(Last Updated On: October 31, 2021)

The United States has administered 420,657,683 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 518,701,225 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The agency said 221,221,467 people had received at least one dose, while 192,244,927 people were fully vaccinated as of 6am on Saturday.

The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, as well as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, Reuters reported.

About 17.7 million people have received a booster dose of either Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

On November 8, the United States is lifting the extraordinary travel restrictions that have barred most non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Britain, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. 

It is also imposing new rules requiring nearly all foreign adult air visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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IEA arrests two gunmen after wedding party shooting 

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(Last Updated On: October 31, 2021)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) deputy minister of information and culture Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed on Sunday that two people have been arrested following the shooting at a wedding party on Friday night. 

Mujahid said in a series of tweets on Sunday that three people, claiming to be IEA members, had arrived at the venue in a village in Nangarhar and ordered them to stop the music, before opening fire on the guests. 

Three people died and several were wounded, he said.

“Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident and one has escaped and is being pursued,” Mujahid tweeted.

 Mujahid said that the gunmen were handed over to officials.

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