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23 Jan 2019 description

Washington has confirmed that its envoy on Afghanistan has been meeting in Qatar this week with Taliban representatives as part of a peace process for the war-torn country.

The U.S. State Department said Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative on Afghan reconciliation, met in Doha on January 22 with "representatives of the Taliban."

A State Department spokeswoman said the talks were taking place over two days and also involved "an interagency team" from the United States.

23 Jan 2019 description

Kabul (ICRC) – A record number of disabled Afghans – more than 12,000 people – sought assistance for the first time in 2018 at physical rehabilitation centres run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) across Afghanistan.

Alarmingly, despite the record level of assistance provided, many more people remain in need.

23 Jan 2019 description

In Numbers

266 mt of food assistance distributed

US$180,371 cash based transfers made

US$1 m six months (February-July 2019) net funding requirements

29,992 people assisted in December 2018

Operational Updates

• In December, WFP successfully reached 29,801 refugees as per the target. This number includes approximately 8,344 women, 8,344 men, 6,259 girls, and 6,854 boys. The people assisted received a total cash transfer value of USD 180,371 and 266 mt of fortified wheat flour entitlements.

23 Jan 2019 description

Nine Advice and Legal Aid Centres (ALAC) are operational in the main refugee-hosting areas of four provinces and provide free legal support to persons of con-cern (PoCs): four in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one in Sindh and three in Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) through partnership agreements with SHARP and one in Balochistan run by SEHER.

23 Jan 2019 description

Highlights

  • 21,936 total returns from Iran and Pakistan since 01 Jan 2019
  • 20,986 total returns from Iran since 01 Jan 2019
  • 950 total returns from Pakistan since 01 Jan 2019
  • 7,475 undocumented Afghans returned from Iran
  • 320 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan
  • 6% of returnees from Iran (477 individuals) assisted
  • 81% of returnees from Pakistan (259 individuals) assisted

Return from Iran

23 Jan 2019 description

By Biraj Patnaik

2018 has been a difficult year for human rights in South Asia. Crackdowns on the Right to Freedom of Expression intensified across the region. Enforced disappearances continued to scar communities in Pakistan and Bangladesh; civilian casualties remained at record highs in Afghanistan, civil society organisations continued to be harassed and shut down in almost every country. Journalists continued to be targeted, members of the political opposition were arbitrarily arrested, religious and ethnic minority groups and Indigenous Peoples continued to be demonised.

23 Jan 2019 description

It's been 30 years since the ICRC launched its Physical Rehabilitation Programme in Afghanistan. Today, there are seven specialized limb-fitting centres run by the organization that cater to the needs of almost 178,000 disabled citizens. Despite the reality that they will need physical rehabilitation throughout their lives and that care is going to be hard to come by in this war-torn country, countless Afghans find courage to stand up on their feet again and dream of a better future.

22 Jan 2019 description

PARTNER VOICES Q&A

‘In times of crisis, education offers stability, security, prospects for the future, and opportunities to acquire vital knowledge and skills’

As part of its efforts to tackle the root causes of poverty and instability – and improve young people’s prospects the world over – the Netherlands plans to expand its activities to support education in protracted crisis and emergencies.

22 Jan 2019 description
report World Bank

By Federica Ranghieri and Ankur Nagar
World Bank, Jan 22

Imagine you live in Afghanistan. There’s a 7 in 10 chance that your livelihood depends on agriculture. In this mountainous country, with mean elevation of 1,884 meters (higher than Chile), it is likely that your farm is in a river valley surrounded by a rugged landscape.

22 Jan 2019 description

Last week in Asia, the overall number of demonstrations declined significantly; reported fatalities declined as well. In South Asia, the week was marked by protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Northeast India while three Islamic State militants were reportedly killed in Counter Terrorism Department operations in Pakistan. In Southeast Asia, there was an increase in protests around election delays in Thailand, while two Buddhist monks were reportedly killed by suspected separatists in the south of the country.

22 Jan 2019 description

By Martin Scott, Senior Lecturer in Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia, UK

NORWICH, UK, Jan 22 2019 (IPS) - According to a recent poll of aid agencies by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the most under-reported crisis of 2018 was the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

22 Jan 2019 description

Kabul’s tent dwellers struggle to survive

With snow and freezing temperatures, displaced families living in makeshift tents in Kabul are struggling to survive the harsh winter.

Akhtar has his hat pulled well over his ears and his scarf snugly around his neck. As other Afghan children delight in the first snowfall of winter, playing and making snowballs, Akhtar is on his way to work to collect scrap, he tells us.

“I don’t know my age”

21 Jan 2019 description

Arrivals

This week, 640 people arrived on the Aegean islands, an increase from last week’s 323 arrivals and from last year’s 146 arrivals during the same period.

The average daily arrivals this week equalled 91, compared to 46 in the previous week.

Population on the Islands

Some 14,800 refugees and migrants reside on the Aegean islands. The majority of the population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (37%), Iraq (16%) and Syria (11%).

21 Jan 2019 description

Key Findings

Nine Advice and Legal Aid Centres (ALAC) are operational in the main refugee‐hosting areas of four provinces and provide free legal support to persons of concern (PoCs): four in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one in Sindh and three in Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) through partnership agreements with SHARP and one in Balochistan run by SEHER.

21 Jan 2019 description

Overview

The Proof of Registration (PoR) card is an important protection tool that is issued by Government of Pakistan and provides temporary legal stay and freedom of movement for the 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The PoR cards expired at the end of 2015 have been extended through official notification until 30 June 2019.

21 Jan 2019 description
  • 14,017 Afghan registered refugees (PoR cardholders) repatriated to Afghanistan from 1 March – 30 November 2018
  • 24,775 Afghan refugee births registered from 1 January – 31 December 2018
  • 83,454 IDP individuals (13,909 families) returned to their areas of origin in Pakistan since 1 January 2018

Working with Partners