U.N Agencies Prepare for Looming Humanitarian Crisis
Major U.N. agencies, including the U.N. High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP), announced plans Monday to undertake one of the largest humanitarian aid operations in the history of the United Nations. Officials estimate that as many as 1-1.5 million Afghans are expected to cross the Afghan border in coming days and weeks, as they flee their homeland and seek safe harbor in Pakistan and Iran. They would join another 4-5 million Afghan refugees already seeking asylum in those countries.
To deal with the potentially crushing flow of expected refugees, the U.N. will open some 20 new camps, and a team of UNHCR officials have been dispatched to Pakistan to coordinate the efforts. However, the Taliban has locked up U.N communications equipment in Afghanistan and issued a death decree to any aid workers who tried to use communications equipment, such as satellite phones, to communicate with other aid workers inside or outside the country. The WFPís humanitarian efforts are being further exacerbated by the Talibanís theft over the weekend of U.N. food supplies from their offices in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Fortunately, reports received this morning from the World Food Programme indicate the agency, in conjunction with other NGOís still operating in Afghanistan, will resume limited operation in the northern and western portions of Afghanistan where the agency estimates that without additional food aid, almost 1.6 million Afghans in the northern Afghan regions will run out of food by December.
9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries, including a delegation from the United States. . . .