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More than 400 victims in Afghanistan in two days

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Photo Credit: http://delhipolicygroup.com

Kabul: In the bloodiest attacks after the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, there have been more than 400 victims between the dead and wounded over the last two days in Afghanistan, especially in Kabul and among civilians.

Photo credit: articles.latimes.com
Photo credit: articles.latimes.com

At the same time, internal disputes broke out among the Afghan Taliban about who would take over Mullah Omar’s leadership, reports Efe.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan(UNAMA), released a statement on Saturday that Friday saw “the largest number of civilians killed and wounded in one day” since the count of victims began in 2009, with 42 civilians dead and 313 wounded in the Afghan capital alone.

UNAMA condemned the series of attacks that began at dawn Friday, the first since Taliban leader Mullah Omar died and the new insurgent chief, Akhtar Mansour, was named in a context of internal rivalry over the succession.

The Taliban accepted responsibility for the attacks then perpetrated by suicide bombers, including one in Kabul at the Police Academy that left 40 dead and wounded, many of them civilians, and another against a NATO base that killed one US soldier and eight Afghans, members of the civilian personnel of the allied mission.

NATO called a halt in 2014 to its combat mission in Afghanistan, substituted since January by Operation Resolute Support, which has some 4,000 soldiers engaged in assistance and training tasks.

The US is keeping 9,800 military deployed until the end of the year as part of its “anti-terrorist” mission in Afghanistan.

(IANS)

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About 2M Children in Afghanistan Suffer Acute Malnutrition: UNICEF

But UNICEF is struggling to fund its operation. The agency needs an immediate injection of $7 million, Boulierac said

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FILE - A boy walks inside what is left of a home in Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, March, 3, 2019. The U.N. Children's Fund is appealing for money to treat Afghanistan's malnourished children. VOA

About two million children in Afghanistan are acutely malnourished. Of those, 600,000 face severe acute malnutrition, the most dangerous form of undernutrition in children, said Christophe Boulierac, a spokesman for the U.N. Children’s Fund.

“Any child suffering from severe acute malnutrition is a crisis and needs to be treated to survive,” he said. “We cannot tell you how many children will die, but we can tell you that a child with severe acute malnutrition is 11 times more likely to die than their healthy peers.”

Afghanistan, alongside Yemen and South Sudan, is among the countries with the highest numbers of children under age five suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Severe drought in 2018 has worsened the situation.

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But UNICEF is struggling to fund its operation. The agency needs an immediate injection of $7 million, Boulierac said. Pixabay

Recent nutrition surveys across Afghanistan find 22 out of 34 provinces are above the emergency threshold of acute malnutrition. Last year, UNICEF provided life-saving assistance to nearly half of the country’s most nutritionally deprived children. It is aiming to reach 60 percent, or 375,000, of those children this year. But UNICEF is struggling to fund its operation. The agency needs an immediate injection of $7 million, Boulierac said.

“We are the sole provider of this treatment against severe acutely malnourished children,” he told VOA. “We need urgent funding in three weeks, otherwise, we will not send the necessary ready-to-use therapeutic food treatment to the 1,300 health facilities that are waiting for that.”

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This year, UNICEF has provided treatment to more than 73,000 severely malnourished children. Boulierac said plans are in place to immediately scale up the operation to reach more children as soon as more money is available.

He also warned that the nutritional status of Afghanistan’s children is likely to worsen without more secure funding in the pipeline. (VOA)