Working with Afghan Government UN prepares for coming winter relief effort

“The main concern at this point is food availability due to the threat of a break in the food pipeline,” UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters in Kabul. “The main risk for this cold season is further displacement of IDPs [internally displaced persons] or returnees forced to move on by food shortage in the areas of return.” As part of the detailed plan for access to difficult areas during the winter, the UN Joint Logistics Centre will deploy 115 snowploughs, assess bridge conditions and review resources for emergency road repairs. At the same time, most local offices of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) have formed winter task forces which are also working on operational plans. The spokesman welcomed the fact that a number of donors have already made commitments for the winter efforts as part of the humanitarian assistance being directed to the many Afghans still in need. “This is very positive and encouraging, although we cannot forget that we [the Afghan Transitional Administration and its partners] also need now resources for long-term recovery and rehabilitation efforts,” he said.

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