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U-N Says Not Enough Supplies Reaching Afghans - 2001-10-31


United Nations relief agencies say they fear that not enough food and medicine are reaching Afghanistan as winter draws near.

The U-N children's agency says 15 of its supply convoys have made it into Afghanistan over the past month. But the agency still expects cold, starvation and sickness to kill 100-thousand more Afghan children this winter than last year.

The International Migration Organization says it has only half the blankets and heating lamps it needs to take care of 200-thousand people camped near the western Afghan city of Herat.

Tuesday, U-N refugee chief Ruud Lubbers asked Afghanistan's ruling Taleban not to interfere with the remaining U-N relief efforts in the country. Meeting with the Taleban's ambassador to Pakistan in Islamabad, Mr. Lubbers also asked the Taleban to stop the looting of U-N offices and ensure the safety of aid workers.

Non-Afghan aid workers left Afghanistan shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. Offices of U-N agencies and international relief organizations have since been repeatedly looted. Taleban authorities also briefly seized two warehouses in Kabul filled with wheat before returning them to U-N control.

In a separate meeting Tuesday with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Mr. Lubbers called on Pakistan to open its borders to more Afghan refugees. He also called for the U-S-led military campaign in Afghanistan to take steps to avoid harming civilians.

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