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SLUG: 2-289511 U-N Aid/ Afghanistan (L-O)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=05/07/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=U-N AID / AFGHANISTAN (L ONLY)

NUMBER=2-289511

BYLINE=DALE GAVLAK

DATELINE=GENEVA

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: United Nations relief agencies say they are cutting back aid to Afghanistan because of a lack of money. V-O-A's Dale Gavlak in Geneva reports the agencies say they fear there will be more suffering in Afghanistan unless donors make good on their promises.

TEXT: Afghanistan has experienced one of the fastest and biggest repatriation programs in recent years. Nearly a half-million refugees and more than 150-thousand internally-displaced people have returned to their homes since the beginning of March.

But, U-N aid agencies say they are running out of money for their programs to help the returning Afghans.

The World Food Program, W-F-P, says that without more money, it will have no food aid to distribute next month. W-F-P's Christiane Bertiaume says the agency urgently needs 28-million dollars to purchase 75-thousand tons of food through the end of July, which is harvest time in Afghanistan.

/// BERTIAUME ACT ///

We have averted a famine. We do not want to go back to that.

/// END ACT ///

The International Organization for Migration, I-O-M, says a lack of money has already forced it to stop programs to send internally-displaced Afghans back to their homes in the west and north of the country.

I-O-M spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy says transportation costs skyrocketed in the western city of Herat because trucking companies there charge 17-times more than those in other parts of the country.

/// CHAUZY ACT ///

Everyday in Herat, we have got about five-thousand-500 people who need (transportation) assistance, and we need those trucks. Obviously, (supply) and demand, the cartels are imposing extortionate prices and basically this is bleeding us dry. We are spending four-million-dollars a month in Afghanistan, mostly related to I-D-P (internally displaced people) transportation and resettlements.

/// END ACT ///

The U-N refugee agency, U-N-H-C-R, says it is spending 25-million dollars a month to assist about three-million Afghan refugees. Peter Kessler of U-N-H-C-R says the agency has a financial shortfall of about 100-million-dollars.

/// KESSLER ACT ///

The trips back to Afghanistan must be made sustainable. That requires, of course, relief aid, aid for the government -- the interim authority and, of course, long-term development, and it has to happen immediately. The interim authority needs, of course, its own structure to be assisted. The relief agencies and the rehabilitation agencies have to be assisted to get in on the ground and get projects going, because people need jobs, people need a future.

/// END ACT ///

U-N agencies say that without help for Afghans to return home and rebuild their lives, the country could face major security problems in the coming months. (Signed)

NEB/DG/JWH/SAB



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