UN relief chief visits Afghanistan

May 8th, 2012 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, May 8 (IANS) The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday for a four-day visit to the insurgency-hit country.

“Afghanistan is in very important period of transition and it is very important in my perspective on humanitarian side as we work to ensure the development priorities of the government supported by the various parts of United Nations system….”

“We don’t forget the ongoing humanitarian need of those in Afghanistan who have been affected by the conflicts or have been affected by natural disasters,” Amos told reporters in joint press conference with Afghan Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development Wais Ahmad Barmak, reported Xinhua.

She also said one of the reasons she travelled to Afghanistan is to work with the Afghan government to support the efforts to build the response capacities of the government to ensure that the response to natural disasters is as effective and as efficient as it can be.

Earlier Tuesday, Amos visited Afghan Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili and she is scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, donors and humanitarian actors and partners in the country.

The government of Afghanistan and United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in January this year appealed for $437 million in aid to help needy people and provide humanitarian assistance for Afghans in 2012.

However, Amos noted that the donor countries have already funded some 40 percent of the UN appeal for the country, adding the UN would press the donors to provide more funds for the country.

Continued militancy, drought and natural disasters have disrupted many essential services in the conflict-ridden country and made it difficult for both the government and aid agencies to help millions of Afghans who are in need of humanitarian assistance.

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