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U-N Calls on Taliban to Allow Unrestricted Humanitarian Assistance - 2001-10-17


The United States has said it will give more than 38-million dollars in new food aid to Afghanistan, while the United Nations calls on the Taleban to stop thwarting humanitarian assistance.

U-S assistance will amount to about 73-thousand tons of wheat, lentils, peas, and other agricultural products, slated for delivery in January. The bulk of food stuffs will come in the form of wheat which can be made into flour. But the food will only get distributed to hungry, war-torn Afghans if the United Nations, which has agreed to administer the food aid program, first convinces the Taliban to stop harassing humanitarian workers.

The Afghan aid workers who still remain in the country report that the Taliban has incited the looting of their offices and performed beatings. The crisis has disrupted aid shipments, but relief groups have reportedly moved 14-thousand tons of food into Afghanistan during the last four days alone.

The U-N Security Council has asked countries to help Afghanistan's neighbors cope with refugees displaced by U-S airstrikes against the Taleban regime. The U-N Refugee agency says it needs 50 million dollars to care for an estimated 400-thousand people fleeing the country. So far, donor governments have pledged 23-million dollars, but only half of that amount has been received.

The food aid promise by the United States is part of a broader 320-million dollar humanitarian aid package announced on October 4th.

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