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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Don't give up on Afghanistan - urges CAFOD
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¬†Catholic aid agency CAFOD has urged the international community not to give up on Afghanistan. Following the defeat of Taliban forces in Afghanistan and United States reconnaissance missions into Somalia, the agency fears international attention will move away from the humanitarian crisis in the country, where two million people are in urgent need of food aid. It also fears that political will crucial to forging lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan will be threatened as the United States' war on terrorism moves on to other fronts. CAFOD's Tim Aldred, who has just returned from CAFOD's emergency relief programme in Pakistan said: "The big danger is that everyone says the problem is solved - let's go home." Tim said: "The Bonn agreement looks very strong. There is a good chance it can be used to bring about peace. It needs to be supported not just for the next six months, but for the next five years. Political will needs to be maintained for a length of time to keep it together. "There is already an increase in looting, banditry and attacks on aid workers. In some areas aid workers can only go in during the day - it's not safe to be there at night. "The problem is not solved. We need to keep going and aid agencies need to stay engaged. The international community must follow through on its verbal commitment to support the long-term needs of the people of Afghanistan." The Catholic community in England and Wales had donated £599,460 to CAFOD's Afghanistan appeal by December 17. CAFOD is already providing aid worth £550,000 through its partners in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the last two weeks, deliveries of CAFOD-supported emergency relief have been made to three provinces in Afghanistan. Food aid, shelter, water and health care is also being provided for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
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