Press Briefing by Aleem Siddique, Senior Public Information Officer

ANBP: nearly 190,000 landmines and over 12,000 tons of ammunition destroyed
Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world and the unfortunate consequence of this continues to pose a significant threat to civilians.

Yuma recall that in January 2005 an Afghanistan New Beginnings Programme (ANBP) pilot project to destroy ammunition stockpiles began in Afghanistan.

To date nearly 190,000 landmines and over 12,000 tons of ammunition have been destroyed under the supervision of ANBP.

The two-year project, which is supported by the ANBP, at a cost of US $16million, is under the responsibility of the Mood. As a signatory to the Ottawa Convention, Afghanistan is committed to establish a complete ban on anti-personnel mines by the end of February 2007.

For anyone interested, the ANBP will be organizing visits to the ammunition depot in Sheikhabad. Please contact the ANBP press office.

Another news, last Saturday August 12, officials from a steering group met at the Ministry of Defense (Mood) in Kabul to discuss the completion of an additional central ammunition depot for June 2007 and the creation of an Ammunition Technical Officers course teaching Afghan National Army personnel on how to properly dispose of ammunition.

Flooding Update
many of you will be aware of recent reports on flooding affecting Ghanaian Paktya provinces. Reports indicate that at least 5,000 families have been severely affected in Ghazni province and 508 families in Paktya province.

In Ghazni, we welcome the response of the local authorities and local businesspeople who have delivered essential food and non-food items such as blankets, materials for shelter and cooking utensils to the most vulnerable communities in ten districts throughout the province. UNICEF have also distributed 240 medical kits to meet the health needs of the affected families and the World Food Programme (WFP) is also gearing up to distribute food aid over the coming days once a full assessment of needs has been conducted.