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Sun, Jun

Japan pledges $9.9m in aid for natural disasters

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As relief goods for survivors of avalanches in central Panjsher province arrived in Kabul on Monday, Japan pledged $9.9 million in aid to help Afghanistan deal with natural disasters.

An agreement was inked in capital Kabul between ANDMA and Japanese officials in the presence of International Organization for Migration (IOM) representative, the government’s information and media centre said in a statement.It said the Japanese assistance would be used through IOM on projects dealing with threats from natural disasters, capacity building of ANDMA officials and emergency response to a calamity.The $9.9 million aid would be spent over the next 32 months in selected areas of Herat, Faryab, Balkh, Jawzjan, Sar-i-Pul, Baghlan, Takhar, Bamyan, Helmand and Kabul.UN estimates show as many as 250,000 Afghans lose their lives to natural disasters each year, besides losing homes, livestock and property.Meanwhile, an Iranian plane carrying relief goods for survivors of natural disasters in Afghanistan landed in Kabul, the Iranian embassy said in a statement.International affairs in-charge at Iran’s Red Crescent Society, Hussain Shafi Khani, said the assistance included blankets, tents and cooked food.Afghan Red Crescent Society chief Fatima Gilani, who received the aid at the Kabul International Airport, thanked Iran and hoped the people of Iran would continue to support the Afghans in difficult times.Afghanistan is no strangers to the wild monsoon rains that strike South Asia every year. But in the past few years, these rains and snowfall have become increasingly dangerous.The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has identified Afghanistan as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. According to UNEP, since 1998, more than 6.7 million Afghans have been affected by natural disasters and extreme weather events.