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UN appeals for halt to attacks on food convoys in Afghanistan

UN appeals for halt to attacks on food convoys in Afghanistan

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today appealed for an end to the increasing attacks on food convoys in the southern part of the strife-torn country.

“The UN has been working in Afghanistan for half a century to help people in need, and these food supplies are destined for some of the country’s most vulnerable people in some of the most vulnerable communities,” UNAMA spokesperson Adrian Edwards said in Kabul.

Over the past 11 months there have been 16 incidents in which convoys of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have been attacked, and food and vehicles damaged or stolen, with seven of the attacks occurring since the start of April.

“We call upon those responsible to immediately halt these acts, which are robbing Afghanistan of badly needed aid,” Mr. Edwards said.

At his press conference today, Mr. Edwards also reported on the situation of Afghan migrants who have been deported from Iran, following an assessment mission conducted by UNAMA with other agencies to the transit centre in Farah province, where the returnees are being assisted before returning to their places of origin around the country.

According to the latest figures, over 1,000 families have registered with the Farah authorities, while over 70,000 returnees have come through the transit centres in Herat, though the number of new returnees had fallen off in both locations.

Mr. Edwards said that WFP has provided one month’s food rations for over 250 families in and around Farah and a food convoy is on its way this week to the on of the Herat centres.

The UN continues to watch the situation, he said, and will decide later this week whether more food supplies are needed.