Indiscriminate and unlawful use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has remained the biggest conflict-related threat to civilians in Afghanistan, responsible for 35 per cent of deaths and injuries during the first half of 2013, according to UNAMA’s latest Protection of Civilians report. In order to help alleviate this problem, the country's Ministry of Interior, supported by international organizations, opened a special school to train police officers on defusing IEDs, in the capital, Kabul, today. Some 300 police personnel were trained in mine defusing skills in the past seven years - now, with the new school in place, the General Juma Khan Police Academy, around 1,500 police personnel will receive mine defusing training this year alone, Ministry officials said.
Wednesday, 8 January 2014
Monday, 2 December 2013
United Nations agencies joined Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health today in observing World AIDS Day. UN agencies and the Government estimate that some 5,000 Afghans live with HIV - and that only 1,529 of these cases are registered. At an event in the capital, Kabul (shown in left and right images), to mark the Day, the country’s Deputy Minister for Health Services, Najia Tariq, cited prolonged conflict, drug production and addiction, poverty, illiteracy and migration among the factors contributing to HIV infections. In his message for the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for “continued investment, commitment and innovation” to reach the vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
As part of the observance of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which started earlier this week, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghanistan today highlighted, at a ceremony with hundreds of university students in the capital, Kabul, the need to reduce crimes against women and girls. At the event, also organized to mark the International Day of Students (17 November) – which was first observed in 1941 in recognition of student activism – a UNDP official, Fulya Vekiloglu, said the UN agency is working with the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to start a Master’s Degree programme on gender studies at Kabul University. UNDP has previously helped establish the Gender Studies Institute at the university, the largest tertiary studies institution in the country. In addition to the observance ceremony, today’s activities included speeches, music and theatre performances, and a documentary screening on the theme of gender quality.
Monday, 25 November 2013
Determining the order of candidates on the ballot paper for 2014 Presidential and provincial Council Elections 25th November 2013.
The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) today determined, through a lottery system, the order of the candidates appearing on the ballot papers for next year’s Presidential and Provincial Council elections, slated for 5 April, at a ceremony in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Eleven Presidential and 2,713 Provincial Council candidates, some of whom were present at today’s event, are contesting the polls. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA! ) is mandated to support – at the request of the Afghan authorities – the Afghan-managed and Afghan-led election. Last week, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, urged Afghan electoral and state bodies, and the candidates and their teams, to take all measures to ensure the election process and their conduct are marked by “the highest degree of integrity, free from internal and external interference and fraud.”