20 August 2017

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Friday July 21, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Foodstuffs have been distributed to 395 displaced families in central Maidan/Wardak province yesterday.
According to BNA report, the assistances provided by World Food Program (WFP) and distributed by directorate of refugees to the families, those were displaced due to ISIS terrorist group’s war from Chaparhar district of Nangarhar.
Each family have received 4 sacks of flour, 14 kg pea, 3 can of cooking ghee.  
Zandi Gul Zamani governor of Maidan/Wardak during distribution of the aids appreciated from WFP and asked from all charity organization to help displaced families of the province.

Wednesday July 19, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Last year, Afghanistan’s version of “Sesame Street” introduced a little girl character aimed at inspiring girls in the deeply conservative Muslim nation.
Now a new Muppet is joining the cast: her brother, who will show boys the importance of respecting women. Zeerak, whose name means “Smart” in Afghanistan’s two official languages, is a 4-year-old boy who enjoys studying and learning. He joins 6-year-old sister Zari, whose name means “Shimmering,” on Afghanistan’s version of the show, “Baghch-e-SimSim,” or “Sesame Garden.” Both Muppets wear traditional Afghan clothing — the baggy trousers and long embroidered shirt known as a shalwar kameez for him and colorful native dresses and a cream-colored hijab, or headscarf, for her. They join the rest of “Sesame Street’s” multi-cultural line-up, which includes muppets specially created for local versions of the program in Bangladesh, Egypt and India.
Massood Sanjer, the head of TOLO TV, which broadcasts the program in Afghanistan, said that after the overwhelmingly positive response to Zari from both parents and children, the goal was to create a boy character to emphasize the importance of gender equality and education in a country where the vast majority of girls don’t go to school and the literacy rate for women is among the lowest in the world. “In a male-dominant country like Afghanistan, I think you have to do some lessons for the males to respect the females. So by bringing a male character to the show who respects a female character, you teach the Afghan men that you have to respect your sister the same way as you do your brother,” Sanjer said. In keeping with that goal, Zeerak proclaimed in a recent episode of the program, “I love Zari so much and as much as I love Zari, I love her friends too.”
It’s an important message broadcast on a medium with a nationwide reach: While television in Afghanistan is largely restricted to urban areas, “Sesame Street” is also broadcast on radio in both official languages, Pashtun and Dari, expanding its audience to most of the country. Both Zari and Zeerak were created in New York and their costumes incorporate fabrics and designs from all of Afghanistan’s major ethnic groups to promote inclusiveness in a society racked by decades of conflict. Afghanistan has been at war for almost 40 years, since the 1979 Soviet invasion and the subsequent mujahedeen war that lasted a decade. That was followed by a devastating civil war in which warlords drew lines based on ethnicity and killed tens of thousands of people in Kabul alone.
The Taliban took over in 1996, and their five-year rule was one of brutal extremism in which they banned women from work and girls from going to school, confining them to their homes. The radical Taliban regime was forced from power by the 2001 U.S. invasion that ushered in a democratic experiment and billions of dollars in international aid to help rebuild the country.
Ahmad Arubi, the producer of the local version of “Sesame Street,” said he is hopeful that the new characters will eventually have a wider audience outside of Afghanistan. “Possibly, in the coming years other Muslim countries, which are running this program, might use our characters, such as Zeerak and Zari. They might use our scripts, translate them in their own languages and use them in their countries,” he said.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Kabul (BNA) A new report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) shows that civilians’ casualties in Afghanistan has increased during the first six months of the current year. A total of 1,662 civilian deaths were confirmed between 1 January and 30 June – an increase of two per cent on the same period last year, according to figures from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The number of civilians injured in the same period fell one per cent to 3,581.
The number of civilians killed and injured in the Afghanistan conflict during the first six months of 2017 persisted at the same record high levels as last year, according to a mid-year report from the United Nations. Extreme harm to civilians continued amid a worsening toll from suicide attacks, and a greater impact on women and children.
The reports highlights that 40 per cent of all civilian casualties during the six-month period were killed or injured by anti-government forces using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), such as suicide bombs and pressure-plate devices, which were responsible for the deaths of 596 civilians and injured 1,483. These figures include civilian casualties from suicide and complex attacks -involving more than one perpetrator and two or more forms of weaponry, including suicide IEDs- which killed 259 civilians and injured 892, a 15 per cent increase on comparable figures for the first six months of 2016.
Killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan is the result of continued war in which no human norms and rights are observed. Anti-government militants use innocent civilians as shield in battle, indifferently fire mortars or rockets on residential houses, plant IEDs along roads and streets and even kill or injure detainees.
Violent and inhuman behaviors in the Afghanistan conflict are seriously shocking and irritant. Hence, UN higher commissioner has said that the death toll cannot reflect all pains of the people of Afghanistan as conflicts and suicide attacks have caused lots of psychological harms for the people of Afghanistan.
UN releases reports annually in connection with civilians’ casualties in Afghanistan and the tolls show increase every year and are continually increasing. Currently, killing and civilians’ casualties have changed to a common work in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, UN as the highest international organization has the responsibility towards reduction of civilians’ casualties in countries facing with continued conflict as Afghanistan. The respective organization in consideration to international conventions should make use of its all authorizations for prevention of civilians’ casualties and safety of innocent people.
UN should recommend all sides of the conflict to observe human rights in conflict and pay full attention to safety of the life of innocent people in accidence to international norms and laws.
UN can also ask all sides in the conflict not to make use of mass-killing weapons, explosives and mines targeting innocent people in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, UN has only condemned suicide attacks, but the organization has not taken any further steps against causes and perpetrators of such attacks.
UN has continually asked all sides of the conflict to observe human rights issues in conflict and avoid killing of innocent people, but such moral advises and recommendations are not effective and useful for those who give no values to life of innocent people and recognize no international laws. The UN has the responsibility to further take action and urge all sides of the conflict through negotiations and pressure to observe all human rights issues.
Lailuma Noori

Tuesday July 18, 2017

Jalalabad City (BNA) Foodstuffs and non-foodstuffs have been distributed to dozens natural-disaster affected families in eastern Nangarhar province.
The distributed assistances include foodstuffs, kitchen sets and tents.
Ataullah Khogyani spokesman of Nangarhar governor told BNA correspondent, in this round dozens affected families from Kama district of the province have received aids.
The families recently affected due to natural-disasters, Khogyani added.
The distributed aids provided by United National High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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