Afghans march in support of new administration, urge continued international aid

Afghans march in support of new administration, urge continued international aid

Following a peaceful demonstration in support of the new Interim Administration in Afghanistan, a delegation of the country’s people has met with United Nations officials to urge continued international assistance to the war-torn country, according to a UN spokesman.

Briefing reporters on Sunday's march, Ahmad Fawzi said participants "made their way to the UN compound and a small delegation met with us and presented a petition in which they said they were very pleased with the transfer of power to the new Administration and expressed their appreciation for the role of the United Nations and the international community."

The Afghans also "said that they expected the international community to continue this support and interest in the future to help Afghanistan to overcome its problems with the recovery efforts which will start very soon," he added.

Mr. Fawzi, who is the spokesman for the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, said the envoy had been holding high-level meetings since Saturday's transfer of power to the new Interim Administration.

Among those contacts, Mr. Brahimi met with the Hamid Karzai, the Chairman of the Interim Administration. The envoy presented Mr. Karzai with a letter from the Secretary-General congratulating the Afghan leader on his new responsibilities and offering best wishes "for the new challenges that lie ahead."

Asked to comment on conditions facing the UN in Afghanistan, Mr. Fawzi noted that the country’s problems were “immense and incomparable” by any scale. “We are talking about rebuilding an entire country, roads, infrastructure, bridges, hospitals, schools, educational system, the army, the police, and this is something the international community has pledged to do, and we have felt that the political will is there and that the staying power is there and the technology to help this country back on its feet again is there,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the humanitarian front, a spokesman for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) told reporters in Kabul today that aid continued to flow into the conflict-ravaged and drought-stricken country, including through newly reopened routes. "I am happy to report today that the Quetta to Herat corridor has partially re-opened for our truckers, moving much needed food from Pakistan into southwest Afghanistan," said Jordan Dey.

WFP has dispatched nine trucks to travel from Quetta to Herat along the road, which had not been used for some five weeks due to "extreme insecurity in the region," the spokesman noted.