18 July 2000
UN Co-ordinators Mission to Kabul
Following discussions with the Foreign Minister of the Taliban in Kandahar on 6th July, the UN Co-ordinator, Erick de Mul, traveled to Kabul to on 16th July to follow up with the authorities on the issue of women's employment that surfaced in Kabul on 6th July 2000. Discussions have been described as "positive". He will return to Islamabad on 20 July.
In the early hours of the morning, on 18 July, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale shook areas in the north-east of Afghanistan. The epicenter was reported on being of 36.21N--71.00E. No major damage or casualties have been reported from the quake.
WFP Relief Operation
The UN World Food Programme in Rome confirmed its emergency operation for Afghanistan which will bring the 120,000 MT of food to help more than 1.6 million famine-threatened people survive the worst drought in Afghanistan.
According to WFP, the estimated cereal deficit for Afghanistan in 2000/01 is expected to be as high as 2.3 m MT, more than double that of the previous year.
This emergency operation forms the core of response to the drought by the assistance community.
In Kandahar, WFP launched the second phase of emergency food distribution to drought-affected families in 19 districts of the Southern Region. Food distribution has started in Qalat District of Zabul Province, where a total of 100 MT of wheat is under distribution to 1000 vulnerable families.
The revalidation exercise has been launched by 30 women through a house by house survey in Kandahar City. They will distribute coupons to 16,000 families. The same exercise has started in Khas Urozgan, Chora and Gizab Districts of Urozgan and Arghistan district of Kandahar.
WFP has delivered 68 MT of food to Arghandab District of Kandahar for further distribution to 168 unskilled labour families. In addition, 16 MT of wheat has been distributed to 30 families through food for work activities carried out by UNCHS in Kandahar city. Over 10 MT of mixed food for in-patients and clinics has been re-leased to the Mirwais hospital, Kandahar.
The monthly meeting of the Health Co-ordination Committee was held in Laghman with the participation of provincial health authorities, UN agencies and NGOs.
The Medical Education and Peace Corps (MEPC) NGO, presented key technical procedures for medical measures in a resource constrained situation in Laghman province. MEPC will continue its technical support to the health professionals in Laghman province. WHO, MSF and SCA discussed EPI activities, results and constraints of the two rounds of NIDs and other health issues in Kunduz province.
In Faizabad, WHO agreed to provide vaccines and vaccinators, while MSF will implement DPT and measles campaign in that district.
Cholera Task Force
WHO organised a meeting of cholera task force in Puli-Khomri, Kunduz province, and held meetings with the community health committee in the Baghlan Jadid hospital. Community leaders were briefed on how to control diarrhoeal diseases and malaria.
WHO in collaboration with MoPH and health NGOs started the second round of training courses for EPI staff in Paktia, Paktika and Khost provinces.
Both UNICEF and HealthNet Inter-national (HNI) fielded a follow up visit to Torkham border and observed the situation of working children. Girls and boys of 4 to 15 years are involved in the smuggling of goods across the border. According to the Torkham-based HNI clinic many of these children suffer from injuries and skin dis-eases which are more likely to be a result of their work.
WHO provide drugs and various medical and non-medical supplies to a number of health facilities, clinics and hospitals in the northern, central and south-western regions of the country.
Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) conducted workshops from 19th June to 14th July with the participation of 30 school con-sultants from three SCA regional offices in Kabul, Ghazni and Taluqan.
In addition, 18 SCA school consult-ants participated in Basic Competencies of Learning (BCL) workshop in Taloqan on 6th and 8th July.
Representatives from 10 local shoras and 3 school consultants from SCA regional offices participated in the ten days facilita-tors workshop on 3rd July.
Materials used in the workshop cover encouragement toward community participation in education, peace, health, gender and school up-grading programmes among Afghan communities.
Comprehensive Disabled Afghan Pro-gramme (CDAP) is determined to improve self-reliance by providing revolving loan to people with disabilities in Wardak and Kandahar.
In cooperation with the local Edu-cation Department, CDAP initiated separate education classes for 45 disabled children in Kandahar city. Accommodation and regular payments for the said classes are provided by local communities.
Kandahar Sectoral Working Group for education led by CDAP has conducted a survey to find out the need for model schools. The project is envisaged to encourage the return of assistance community employees' families to the southern region.
National Workshop on Victim Assistance in Afghanistan
As part of the preparatory work for a Round Table on Public Health (RTPH) to be held in Geneva from 4 to 8 September 2000, a workshop on Victim Assistance (VA) in Afghanistan was organized by CDAP, ICRC and the Geneva Foundation in Peshawar on 9 and 10 July, 2000. In ad-dition, polio eradication and essential drug programmes in Afghanistan will also be covered by the Round Table.
Poultry specialists monitored 12 poultry farms in Kabul City and provided technical advice to a number of farmers in the area. The Kabul Poultry Farmer Association (PFA) produced over 1,400 kg balanced feed for poultry and distributed 6,000 kg to members of the association in Kabul. It also produced almost 20,000 day-old chicks from which 114,05 were sold to small poultry farmers.
Harvesting and threshing of im-proved wheat by Contract Seed Growers (CSGs) under the supervision of IRC and FAO professional staff are ongoing in Pak-tia and Logar provinces. Drought resistance cultivates of cereal and legume trials were selected by a crop specialist, in Kunduz and Baghlan provinces. The urea top dressing was applied on 10 rice variety trials, and weeded and irrigated potato research trials in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces.
A total of 138,792 sqm of high priority grazing and agricultural area was surveyed and marked for clearance in Kandahar and Zabul provinces last week.
A total of 203,666 sqm of high priority grazing and agricultural area was cleared by manual teams supported by mechanical clearance teams and mine dog groups in Kandahar and Zabul provinces last week. Over 5,000 people benefited from the project. A total of 3,013 people (female, male and children) received direct mine awareness training in Kandahar, Zabul and Kouchies of Uruzgan province.
Afghan Technical Consultants cleaned mined areas in Qarya-i-Salam Khail, Said Karam district, Paktia province, benefiting 120 persons and a grazing land in Tangi Sayedan Village, Char Asiab district. More than 100 persons will benefit from the cleaned areas. In Karta-i-Now, Kabul , ATC team cleaned a former battle area. Nearly 250 helped to rid unexploded ordnance scattered in this area. The same team completed an-other battlefield in Qarya-i-Hassan Khan of Bagrami District. Almost 2,000 people will use the cleaned area. The mechanical excavation team cleared a minefield located in Dar-ul-Aman.
Voluntary repatriation from Pakistan
Last week 135 families voluntary repatri-ated to Kandahar and Helmand from Paki-stan. They received UNHCR standard repatriation assistance packages (cash, WFP wheat, plastic sheeting).
The UNDCP Community Development Office monitored several agriculture and infra-structure projects sites and interviewed farmers and beneficiaries on UNDCP ac-tivities impact in the south-western.
The UNDCP female community mobiliser trained 25 women on their in drug control, drug awareness, basic health and sanitation in the area. A three-day drug awareness and drug abuse prevention training workshop was arranged by UNDCP in collaboration with the local Drug Control Unit (DCU) in Kandahar from 11 to 14 July. The workshop was participated by Kandahar and Helmand DCUs, UN Agencies, NGOs and Public health department representatives.
Office of the UN Coordinator