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Afghanistan: security concerns outside Kabul hamper UN aid effort

Afghanistan: security concerns outside Kabul hamper UN aid effort

While security in the Afghan capital of Kabul has improved, other regions continue to experience crime and lawlessness, impeding the delivery of badly needed aid, a United Nations spokesperson said today.

Security incidents and robberies in Kabul have reportedly decreased over the last week, Ariana Yaftali, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, told a press briefing in Islamabad.

"However, weapons are present in large numbers among the population, but these are slowly being recovered," she added.

Security concerns continue to restrict the movements of UN personnel outside Kabul, Ms. Yaftali said, as various UN agencies attempt to deliver relief aid such as food and health care to returning refugees.

In the north, the security situation is stable, "though internal political problems have resulted in local level conflicts," Ms. Yaftali said. A six-member team from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is currently assessing and documenting the protection needs and issues of displaced persons and returnees, and identifying potential protection issues related to the repatriation of refugees.

Meanwhile in the east, food distribution to vulnerable populations has been concentrated in Nangarhar province due to security restrictions in other areas, Ms. Yaftali said, though they may be relaxed in Kunar and Laghman if security assessments of those provinces are positive.

In the west, security around Herat is presently good and, although problems linger in parts of Badghis province, aid agencies are getting into Gormach District and food aid is being provided, Ms. Yaftali said. In some districts of Badghis, which is currently showing pockets of malnutrition, emergency health services and primary health care are being provided.