Important UAE Humanitarian Gesture Toward Afghan People
- 15 July 2009
Statistics present a grim picture of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. Reliable reports indicate that infant mortality in the country is the third highest in the world, after Sierra Leone and Angola (140 child for every 1000 live births), according to sources of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). About 600 children under the age of five die every day in Afghanistan of pneumonia and diarrhea, and of many other ailments that can be cured by proper medication and treatment.
Statistics also indicates that 39% of Afghan children under the age of five are malnourished and underweight. About 54% of children are below their optimum physical growth. The data also shows that up to 60%-65% of Afghan women and children suffer from anemia and iron deficiency. This grim picture of health suggests not the only indicator of the grim reality of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, but represents only one side of a complex mosaic of problems. The Afghan people suffer from deteriorating living conditions and various economic and social ills, which go back several decades of wars and conflict among warlords and leaders of organizations, movements and militia. Overcoming this situation requires joint international humanitarian effort to alleviate the problems of the people, and to provide for their basic amenities after a period of long suffering.
It is in this context that the cooperation and partnership agreement recently signed by “Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Association” and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to procure food and eradicate child malnutrition assumes importance. This initiative would reduce death rate and disabilities linked to malnutrition, particularly amongst women and children in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Contribution to the development process is an integral part of international efforts to achieve security and stability in Afghanistan, as it would safeguard the future of this country by rescuing an entire generation of children from disease and malnutrition, which is the scourge of poor countries and stalls the development of these countries.
The humanitarian efforts of the UAE is the latest in a series of humanitarian and relief work initiated by the country in Afghanistan and various other parts of the world. The agreement is designed to provide food, such as flour, oil and salt to about 15 million people from Afghanistan and other nations, as part of a humanitarian gesture that falls within a firmly-rooted conscience of this generous country, governance and leadership, and its foreign policy that puts humanitarian dimensions within the advanced hierarchy, including a civilized picture of an honorable cause for pride and appreciation.