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PM Imran authorizes Rs 5 billion humanitarian aid for Afghanistan – Journal

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday approved Rs 5 billion in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, in addition to authorizing the transport of Indian food aid to the war-torn country through Pakistan.

The decision was taken during the first meeting of the umbrella committee of the new Afghan interministerial coordination cell (AICC). Prime Minister Khan chaired the meeting attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Financial Advisor Shaukat Tarin, Army Chief of Staff, General Qamar Bajwa, Security Advisor National Dr Moeed Yousuf and senior civilian and military officers.

The prime minister’s office said the prime minister had ordered immediate shipment of in-kind humanitarian aid worth Rs 5 billion.

The aid would include food items, including 50,000 tonnes of wheat, emergency medical supplies and winter shelter, according to the PMO. A delegation of Afghan health officials will travel to Islamabad later this week to work out modalities for Pakistan’s support to the Afghan health sector.

Enables the transport of Indian food aid across Pakistan

The aid approved by the prime minister had already been announced on October 1 during FM Qureshi’s visit to Kabul to meet with Taliban leaders.

Humanitarian supplies have already been transported from Pakistan to Afghanistan almost daily since September.

The United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, warned Thursday that the country was on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, with nearly 60% of its population facing extreme levels of hunger.

The food emergency is expected to worsen over the winter.

The meeting participants, while expressing their concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, pledged not to abandon the Afghans when they need it.

Khan urged the international community to shoulder its collective responsibility to help Afghanistan avoid the looming humanitarian crisis.

He announced the government’s decision to allow the passage of 50,000 tonnes of wheat that India had offered to Afghanistan as humanitarian aid by Pakistan after the finalization of the modalities.

Pakistan will also facilitate the return of Afghan patients who had traveled to India for medical treatment and are stranded there, he added.

While urging ministries to extend facilitation to Afghans as much as possible, the prime minister said it had been agreed in principle to reduce tariffs and sales taxes on major Afghan exports to Pakistan.

This would help support the Afghan economy. Since the Taliban took control in August this year, imports from Afghanistan to Pakistan have exceeded Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan.

Khan said arbitrary border closures for trade should not be allowed.

He further ordered the resumption of the bus service between Peshawar and Jalalabad to facilitate cross-border travel. Measures to facilitate visas for Afghanistan were also approved.

The Prime Minister ordered the maintenance of the facility for free vaccination against Covid-19 for Afghans entering Pakistan from the land borders. Pakistan launched free vaccination of Afghans on November 13.

NSA Moeed Yusuf was invited to visit Afghanistan to explore specific areas where immediate capacity building support was needed by Afghans.

Mr. Yusuf, who is also the head of AICC, briefed civilian and military leaders on the current economic situation in Afghanistan and the progress made by AICC in coordinating national humanitarian assistance and facilitation efforts. borders for Afghans.

Posted in Dawn, November 23, 2021

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