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31 Jan 2012 description

One morning towards the end of last year, Mir Ahmad Shah, an ICRC water engineer, took three female colleagues to visit a project on which he was working, in Qoliobchakan on the heights above Kabul. The area is home to around 15,000 people displaced by the 30-year conflict in Afghanistan; many of them are from the Panshir valley.

31 Jan 2012 description

The recent murder of an Afghan woman for giving birth to a daughter, rather than a son, has captured international attention and serves as a reminder that mistreatment of women is culturally tolerated.

Read the full article in the Christian Science Monitor.

31 Jan 2012 description

ISLAMABAD [ACTED News] - The tripartite agreement between the United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR), and the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which grants Afghan refugees an official refugee status in Afghanistan, will come to an end on 31 December 2012. Therefore, the estimated 1.8 million registered (and an additional 1.3 million unregistered) refugees are to return to Afghanistan as the four camps in Lower Dir are scheduled to be closed down. So far, only 50,000 people returned to Afghanistan on a voluntary basis in 2011.

31 Jan 2012 description

The UK is engaged in Afghanistan as part of a 50-nation coalition to prevent international terrorists, including Al Qaeda, from again using Afghanistan as a base from which to operate, threatening our security and that of the region.

The Government has committed itself to keeping Parliament informed about developments in Afghanistan on a monthly basis. This fourteenth report covers progress in January 2012. It reflects the combined assessment of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development.

31 Jan 2012 description

Human Rights Council
Nineteenth session
Agenda items 2 and 10
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the
High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

Technical assistance and capacity-building

Summary

30 Jan 2012 description

By Assad Abboud (AFP)

RIYADH — Afghan officials and representatives of the Taliban insurgents fighting the Western-backed government are to hold peace talks in Saudi Arabia, a Riyadh-based Afghan diplomat said on Monday.

"An Afghan government delegation and a Taliban delegation will hold talks in Saudi Arabia," the diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity, but he could not give a timeframe.

30 Jan 2012 description

Introduction

The challenges facing refugees in Greece are widely known. Since 2007, a stream of reports has documented serious deficiencies during every stage of the refugee experience, from arrival at the border through implementation of a final asylum decision. The humanitarian situation has improved somewhat in 2011, but at the same time the challenge facing Greece has grown. The European Union’s administrative and physical external border control regimes have become more stringent, rendering many former routes into the EU inaccessible.

30 Jan 2012 description

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Some 6,000 people newly displaced in January due to conflict and security, down from last month.

  • 45% increase in conflict induced IDP’s compared to January 2011

  • Avalanches kill 43 people and injure 65 in Badakhshan and kill two people in Daykundi

  • Humanitarian Coordinator launches the 2012 CAP

Relief supplies delayed in Pakistan

Border closed for over two months

30 Jan 2012 description

The UK is engaged in Afghanistan as part of a 50-nation coalition to prevent international terrorists, including Al Qaeda, from again using Afghanistan as a base from which to operate, threatening our security and that of the region.

The Government has committed itself to keeping Parliament informed about developments in Afghanistan on a monthly basis. This thirteenth report covers progress in December 2011. It reflects the combined assessment of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development.

30 Jan 2012 description
report IRIN

DAMQOL, 30 January 2012 (IRIN) - Afghanistan suffers from cyclical natural disasters - floods and drought - which affect people annually and require expensive emergency responses, but their impacts could well be avoided, or at least mitigated, if proper water management systems or dams were built, for example.

Some farmers could switch from rain-fed wheat crops, which require a lot of water, to other crops, like grapes or almonds. But these kinds of transitions require long-term multi-year plans, inherently at odds with emergency responses, based on annual appeals for funding.

30 Jan 2012 description

Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ján Kubiš today told Afghan and United Nations officials that increased security as a result of the transition should lead to more development during a visit to Kandahar, his first regional trip since taking office.

"I chose Kandahar as part of my first field trip for obvious reasons: because of the importance of the Southern Region and in order to reinforce our partnership with the people and local authorities,” Mr. Kubiš said during a meeting with Kandahar Governor, Dr. Toryali Wesa.

30 Jan 2012 description

Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ján Kubiš yesterday visited Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan as part of his ongoing efforts to reach out to provincial Afghan officials and civil society to determine how the United Nations can best support the Government and the people of the country.

“The UN is willing to help more and more,” Mr. Kubiš told Governor Atta Mohammad Noor.

30 Jan 2012 description

Highlights

Funding Situation

The CERF raised a record amount of US$465 million through the contributions of Member States, Observers, regional governments and the private sector. 2011 marks only the second time in the history of the Fund that it exceeded the $450 million target established for it by the General Assembly.

Additionally, $46.4 million was transferred from the CERF loan window to the grant window with the reduction of the loan element by the General Assembly.

30 Jan 2012 description

Interview
Jake Sullivan
Director of Policy Planning
Washington, DC
January 24, 2012

MS. JENSEN: Hi. Welcome to LiveAtState, the State Department’s interactive webchat platform for engaging international media. I am delighted to welcome our participants from all over the world. Thank you for joining us today. Today in our studio, we have Jake Sullivan, the director of policy planning here at the State Department, and he’ll be taking your questions on foreign policy priorities for 2012.

30 Jan 2012 description

USAID promotes the rule of law in some of Afghanistan’s most insecure areas

25 January 2012 | Khost, Afghanistan

For a country that has endured endless war and lawlessness, Afghanistan is bound to have a few remaining rebels. One such rebel still roams the rugged terrain of Khost Province in eastern Afghanistan. At first glance, Bibi Hakmeena’s towering stature and dominating demeanor seem perfectly in balance against the powerful cascades of the jagged mountain landscape she calls home. But, it does not take long to realize that Bibi is no ordinary rebel.

30 Jan 2012 description

By Emal Haidary (AFP)  

KABUL — Afghanistan and Pakistan plan to open a second front in negotiations with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia as US-brokered talks get under way in Qatar, officials said Sunday.

The Taliban, ousted from power by a US-led invasion in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, announced earlier this month that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar ahead of talks with Washington.

30 Jan 2012 description

Prime Minister David Cameron and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met at Chequers, where they signed an Enduring Strategic Partnership between the UK and Afghanistan.