The United Nations’ (UN) World Food Program (WFP) stated Sunday that over the next year, roughly four million Afghans will suffer from the country’s ongoing food shortage, according to Reuters. With a harsh winter expected to begin by mid-November, food delivery will be thwarted to more than one-fourth of those individuals, who reside in rural areas. Despite an 80% boost in the cereal harvest this year, droughts in some parts of the country yielded low agricultural production, reported AP.
Since March, over 1.75 million Afghans have returned from bordering nations. However, continued violence and depressed economic conditions have driven 1,200 people per week to seek refuge in Pakistan, according to spokeswoman Maki Shinohara of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Last January, international donors meeting in Tokyo pledged $4.5 billion to Afghanistan. However, President Hamid Karzai and his Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani disclosed in a meeting earlier this month that UN and other aid groups received $800 million of the $890 million given in aid thus far. Pressing for additional monies to be directed to the Afghan government, Karzai urged donor nations to fulfill their promise of $1.8 billion in funding this year.
Reports of violence persist even weeks after the US State Department issued a report questioning the expansion of peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan. The Feminist Majority, President Karzai, UN officials, and women’s and human rights organizations have urged a full-scale expansion of peacekeeping troops throughout the country in order to ensure security and enable reconstruction efforts.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .