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Xinhua, December 21, 2009

Insecurity, corruption remain big challenges to assist vulnerable Afghans: UN official

According to Haj-Ibrahim, over six million people in the militancy-hit country are in need of humanitarian aid

Corruption and insecurity remained the big challenges for UN aid agencies to reach vulnerable and needy Afghans in the war-torn country, a UN official said Monday.

"Insecurity and corruption are increasing the cost of our ability to deliver and transport goods and service to the needy people," Wael Haj-Ibrahim, head of United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a press conference here.

"Corruption is hindering our abilities to reach needy people," he further said.

According to Haj-Ibrahim, over six million people in the militancy-hit country are in need of humanitarian aid. Every year, over 400,000 Afghans are affected by natural disasters, he said, adding that over 275,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are in constant need of medical care, shelter and food.
Xinhua, Dec. 21, 2009

Meantime, he stressed that corruption could exist at all levels, saying, "there are some within official institutions, and there are some within UN and some at the community level."

"Fighting corruption is a collective responsibility of not just the government but also UN agencies, country leadership and community members," Haj-Ibrahim said.

The UN official further said, "UN has systems in place to make sure that we are accountable to community, to the government and to donors."

Nevertheless, he emphasized that corruption will make it difficult to convince the donor countries to continue and provide the level of assistance which is needed.

According to Haj-Ibrahim, over six million people in the militancy-hit country are in need of humanitarian aid.

Every year, over 400,000 Afghans are affected by natural disasters, he said, adding that over 275,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are in constant need of medical care, shelter and food.

To tackle the problem, the OCHA head estimated about 871 million U.S. dollars assistance are required for entire humanitarian efforts for the next one year.

Continuing militancy and fighting have hampered the UN agencies' efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to needy people in south and southeastern parts of Afghanistan, where Taliban militants are active, according to officials.

Category: Poverty, Healthcare/Environment - Views: 6055