UNAMA – Press Briefings – 5 September 2018

5 September 2018

Afghanistan accession to refugee convention
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Gutierrez, has welcomed Afghanistan’s accession to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, saying the decision was especially significant for a country that for decades was the origin of one of the largest populations of refugees and asylum seekers in the world.

Afghanistan’s accession enshrines in international law the country’s long-standing tradition of asylum. Even throughout its troubled recent history, Afghanistan kept its doors open to refugees – notably those from Central Asia, like the tens of thousands of Tajiks who fled their country’s civil war in the early 1990s.

Click hereto read the UNHCR press release.

UNHCR encashment centers to close during election period
UNHCR will close its encashment centers in Afghanistan in the days before and after voting in the Wolesi Jirga and Provincial Council elections.

Theocentric, which distribute financial assistance to returning refugees, will be closed for five days, from September 16th to 20th.

UN working staff level maintained during elections
Asylum may have seen, a news report yesterday mentioned that UN staff members are being urged to leave Afghanistan ahead of the elections. This, we feel, is misleading.

The United Nations in Afghanistan continues to operate at our normal working staff level. Decisions on whether staff can take leave during this period are made in exactly the same way as always – a staff member requests leave, and their supervisor then decides. It remains entirely up to individual supervisors whether to approve or encourage leave depending on their own office’s staffing and Programme needs.

For the two or three days over the election weekend, attention is going to be very much on the elections themselves, and agencies not directly involved can of course grant leave requests at this time if they wish. This is something we have discussed among ourselves just as one might in any organization. But this is purely an internal managerial decision that is up to individual supervisors. This is not the same as having aunt-wide policy [for Afghanistan] to downscale staffing, as yesterday’s ‘report may have suggested. I repeat, that we continue at the same normal working staff levels as usual. With UNAMA, I can tell you we have no policy whatsoever of altering staffing levels over this period. We have a job to do here, and we’re committed to doing that.

WFP identifies districts for winter assistance
Last winter was particularly harsh for Afghans living in remote regions, following seven-year drought that brought plenty of snow and cold conditions and made getting food even tougher for some. With the coming winter only a short period away the World Food Programme has identified several districts in four provinces for assistance.

Eight districts of Nuristan Province (Want, Waa, Pardon, Bargimatal, Kamdesh, Mandol, Noorgaram and Doab) as well as Hesarak district in Nangarhar Province; Dawlat Shah District in Laghman Province, and Dangam district in Kunar Province will receive wheat, oil, pulses, salt and biscuits.

TenNGO’s have submitted proposals to perform the operation. Delivery is planned before the end of September.

UNIFEM releases report in anticipation of World Summit; August newsletter
Anew report by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in anticipation of the 2005 World Summit, argues for closer attention tithe role of women, particularly working poor women, in the informal economy, and the impact of this on efforts by nations to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

There port, which is titled “Progress of the World’s Women 2005;Women, Work and Poverty”, looks at employment and the potentiality has to reduce poverty and gender inequality