DAILY NEWS BULLETIN 09.01.2003
In 2002, Russia was actively executing humanitarian aid projects for Afghanistan by delivering to the country a total of more than 40 thousand tons of cargo to the sum of approximately 15 million US dollars, Yuri Brazhnikov, deputy head of the Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM ) of the Russian Federation, has reported.
The year's largest humanitarian operation was the delivery of food to the northern provinces of Afghanistan. In less than six months, EMERCOM truck convoys transported to Faizabad 16.5 thousand tons of food, and in October-December more than 5 thousand tons of grain and six fixed humanitarian aid distribution centers were delivered to Hairaton by rail.
Deliveries of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan were also carried out by EMERCOM planes and helicopters, which made 83 flights to Kabul and Bagram.
In January 2002 the specialists of EMERCOM completed a unique operation for restoring the strategically important Salang tunnel linking southern to northern Afghanistan. On January 19 the first EMERCOM humanitarian convoy of 21 KamAZ trucks, having the day before arrived from Dushanbe, moved through Salang to Kabul. In the course of the reconstruction work in the tunnel, and before that in Kabul, EMERCOM sappers had rendered harmless more than 8,000 mines and other explosive devices.
In the capital of Afghanistan there also worked a field hospital of the Tsentrospas central airmobile rescue team of EMERCOM, whose doctors rendered medical assistance to 5,830 Afghans.
In March-April last, EMERCOM specialists, besides that, worked in the zone of a destructive earthquake in Baglan province; 1,250 disaster sufferers received qualified medical assistance then.
Brazhnikov also said that the need is currently imminent for a smooth transition from deliveries to Afghanistan of humanitarian aid to specific programs of reconstruction and assistance for the country.
"The world experience of post-conflict settlement shows that such an effective and smooth transition can become an important precondition for the success of international efforts in achieving national reconciliation in this or that country," noted the deputy minister.
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