RealNews

Afghan violence cripples aid effort

At the very moment when Afghanistan’s reconstruction effort should be shifting into full gear, rising insecurity is forcing a wholesale retreat of international aid operations across the south and east of the country. In the nearly eight months since U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared an end to major combat operations in Afghanistan and the start of the reconstruction phase, a resurgent Taliban guerrilla force has driven out the United Nations and most international relief agencies from 13 of the 32 provinces. The UN has halted all road travel in the high-risk provinces, confining staff members to their offices in the cities of Jalalabad, Kandahar and Gardez. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, responsible for one of Afghanistan’s biggest aid operations, has withdrawn from those areas. Full Story

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