POLITICS

EU to set up centre in Uzbekistan to ensure humanitarian aid supply to Afghanistan

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday decided to establish a centre in Termez of Uzbekistan in order to ensure a steady supply of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Representatives of Uzbekistan and EU officials jointly agreed to the decision during a daily summit on the Afghanistan issue in Brussels, Khaama News reported, citing the Uzbek Foreign Ministry. The move aligns with the United Nations’ call to establish a hub of the World Food Program (WFP) for assistance to Afghanistan in Termez.

During a daily briefing, EU envoy to Afghanistan, Tomas Niklasson also appreciated Uzbekistan’s contribution in the evacuation efforts of the Union’s nationals from Afghanistan. The envoy also expressed interest to continue cooperation with the Central Asian country to ensure peace and stability in the war-torn nation. It is worth mentioning that Uzbekistan has over time contributed to support Afghan civilians who are reeling under the dire humanitarian crisis fuelled by an economic situation that is on the brink of collapse.

Uzbekistan delivers humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

Earlier in mid-September, Uzbekistan delivered humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to support Afghan citizens and help them cope with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, and avert a humanitarian catastrophe or food insecurity, according to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry. The relief included groceries, and other basic commodities, medication, clothes, as well as footwear delivered to the Afghan border town of Hairaton. On 14 September, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry sent a train of 25 wagons carrying essentials that include foodstuffs, other essential goods, medicines, clothing, and footwear, which were dispatched to Afghanistan as part of the humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged country, the Morning Express stated. The foreign ministry further added that the essentials were handed over in the presence of officials from the Taliban government, including Ismatoullah Arghachev, the special spokesperson of Uzbekistan in Afghanistan.  

Afghan health sector plunges into crisis

Afghanistan’s health sector has plunged into a severe crisis despite the former government receiving millions of dollars worth of funds from the international community, the Public Health Ministry recently said. No fundamental work is done in the health sector nor has the salaries of health workers been paid for a long time, Deputy Minister for Health Service Provision, Abdul Bari Omar, was quoted by TOLO news as saying during a press briefing. The development of the Afghan health sector has dwindled on the edge of 5.5% overall, the official added.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry also highlighted that the country’s healthcare system has further crumbled after the international community suspended health aids following the Taliban takeover. “Some of the health centers have stopped their operations,” Omar said. The citizens have also expressed frustration over the reduction of medical supplies across the country leading to a lack of provisions for urgent medical assistance for the citizens, Noorullah, a patient, told TOLO.

(Image: @SloveniaInIran_Twitter/AP)

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