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UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan condemns deadly attack in Kabul

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United Nations: The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has condemned what it called “indiscriminate attack” in Kabul, which has killed at least eight civilians and injured more than 200 others, a UN spokesman said here.

Photo Credit: dronewars.net
Photo Credit: dronewars.net

Nicholas Haysom, UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, on Friday reiterated the Mission’s repeated calls for the immediate ban on weapons which have been used to kill and maim indiscriminately, and to cease attacks in civilian-populated areas, Xinhua quoted UN spokesman Stephane Duarric as saying.

Earlier this week, the UN mission released its latest report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan, documenting nearly 5,000 casualties, including more than 1,500 deaths in the first half of 2015.

Reports said 240 civilians, including 47 women and three children were wounded in the blast which took place at around 1.00 a.m. on Friday in a populated area in the Afghan capital.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the incident, reports hinted Taliban was behind the deadly attack.

(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)