UAE calls for concerted efforts for Afghan rebuilding

November 20th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Nov 20 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has called on global powers to redouble their efforts to rebuild war-ravaged Afghanistan where the humanitarian situation some seven years after the Taliban regime was ousted is still appalling.UAE foreign ministry spokesman Tariq Al Haidan told an international conference on Return and Reintegration of Afghan Refugees that the refugees who returned home from camps in Pakistan and Iran are going back because Kabul lacks the means and ways to rehabilitate them, WAM reported Thursday.

“The returning refugees are faced with problems like security, lack of land for farming and shelter, basic services and livelihood — compounded by a food crisis in the wake of a severe drought and many are going back to Iran and Pakistan,” Haidan told the meet.

According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), five million Afghan refugees - 20 percent of the country’s population - have returned home since 2002 but some 30,000 are now living in tents as the government resources are stretched.

“While participating in this conference, the UAE underscore its determination to support international efforts for reconstruction of Afghanistan and return of refugees,” he said.

Haidan told the gathering the Arab federation till date has offered assistance worth $550 million for reconstruction and stability in the central Asian country.

The projects executed by the UAE in Afghanistan included Sheikh Zayed University in Kabul, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid City in Kandahar, an orphanage and a psychiatric hospital, he said.

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