Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Press conference by Ewan MacLeod, UNHCR Acting Representative in Afghanistan; Dr. Nazifullah Salarzai, UNAMA Spokeperson's Office

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Kabul, 3 November 2008

FOOD PRE-POSITIONING PRIOR TO WINTER

In response to this winter's needs 36,000 tons of food is being sent to areas that will be cut off. These are part of WFP's regular programmes as well as for drought and high price mitigation.

From this amount, 38 per cent has been already dispatched to very difficult areas. As an example 55 per cent of the ration for Badakhshan, one of the worst and first affected areas, has been dispatched.

With expected consignments the pipeline is secured until early next spring. However, we need to receive further support from the donor community to secure the pipeline from March onwards, as the lead time it takes to get food into the country after a donation is three to four months.

Every effort is being made to ensure that food will reach its intended beneficiaries before certain areas become inaccessible. WFP advises that they will keep you informed on progress.

BAMYAN DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE

Bamyan's development will be the subject of a conference that's being held tomorrow at the Serena Hotel by the Ministry of Economy and the Bamyan provincial authorities.

This conference is a follow-up to a July Conference in Bamyan and aims to improve coordination and partnership between the province, central government, and the international community. It will look at provincial development and cultural and infrastructure plans, and at ensuring that gender concerns are incorporated.

UNDP Afghanistan's Gender Equality Project is supporting this conference. Media are invited and an advisory will be sent out later today.