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55% Afghani citizens expected to face food insecurity soon, UN report says

More than half of Afghanistan’s population is estimated to be experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity between November 2021 and March 2022, according to an United Nations report.

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Afghanistan
Afghanistan

“The country is currently facing the second drought in four years and the worst of its kind in 27 years,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said in a situation report. “An estimated 22.8 million people, or 55 percent of the population, are expected to be in crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity between November 2021 and March 2022, a nearly 35 percent increase from the same season last year (16.9m),” the report added.

“Even prior to the events of 15 August, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was one of the worst in the world. By the mid-year mark, nearly half of the population were already in need of humanitarian and protection assistance in 2021,” the report further noted.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general pointed to reports that showed isolated clashes and violence affecting civilians and resulting in casualties continued across the war-torn country this week, according to a report by news agency ANI.

Further, the report also said that issues related to food security were driven largely due to drought and even after the harvest, as much as 57% of the households did not have food reserves to last for three months.

Also, the situation is expected to deteriorate in 10 out of the 11 most populated urban areas, the report said. “In urban areas, income loss (driven by economic shocks) has contributed to the rapid deterioration in food insecurity,” the report showed.

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AJK govt presents Rs 163.7 billion budget

The development budget has been increased by Rs. 2 billion as compared to the previous financial year.

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AJK govt presents Rs 163.7 billion budget

Mirpur: The government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Saturday presented its maiden budget with an estimated outlay of Rs.163.7 billion for the next financial year 2022-23.

In the budget, an amount of Rs.135.2 billion has been allocated for recurring expenditure whereas a chunk of Rs. 28.5 billion has been allocated for development expenditure.

The development budget has been increased by Rs. 2 billion as compared to the previous financial year.

The budget proposes a 15 percent Disparity Reduction Allowance, an increase in the revised pay scale, and a 15 percent increase for pensioners.

The development budget includes Rs1.8 billion for public health, Rs 2.17 billion for education, and 12 billion for communication.

Presenting the budget for the financial year 2022-23 in the Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly which met in the State metropolis on Saturday, the AJK Finance Minister Abdul Majid Khan said that the total expenditure for the next financial year has been estimated at Rs 135.20 billion.

He said that total development expenditure was estimated at Rs 28.50 billion.

Moreover, the minister said that an amount of 500 million has been proposed in terms of foreign aid.

Revised budget for the financial year 2021-22, amounting to 135.7 billion was also presented in the legislative assembly.

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Pakistan

PM resolves to equip youth with latest education, skills

Pakistan would host 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Islamabad in January next year.

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PM resolves to equip youth with latest education, skills

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Saturday expressed the resolve to take all such measures that could help in increasing the digital transformation and promote literacy and skills of the Pakistani youth in all forms of education and learning.

In a virtual address at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held in Kigali, Rwanda, the prime minister said that about more than sixty percent of the total population of the Commonwealth countries comprised of the youth who held the future of their countries in their hands.

“Further with increased role of technology and use of digital medium, we have come to realize that digital transformation is a key to achieve innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth,” he added.

About the CHOGM, the prime minister said that it gave him immense pleasure that they had gathered to think about their nations.

He appreciated the impacts of such a multilateral forum which could create on their shared goals, values, and principles as per Commonwealth charter.

He also reiterated that Pakistan was ready to contribute to the collective endeavours for the development of Commonwealth youth.

The prime minister also announced that Pakistan would host 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Islamabad in January next year and invited the Commonwealth youth ministers to visit Pakistan and explore the beauty and diversity of the beautiful country.

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Pakistan

President calls for stronger commitment to address challenge of drug abuse

"The day was celebrated across the globe to prevent drug abuse and raise awareness about the alarming threats it poses to society, especially the youth."

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President calls for stronger commitment to address challenge of drug abuse

Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi said the government must strengthen its commitment to address the challenges stemming from drug abuse and illicit trafficking and protect youth from the threat of illicit drugs.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed annually on June 26 to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of illicit drugs.

In a message on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, he said the day was celebrated across the globe to prevent drug abuse and raise awareness about the alarming threats it poses to society, especially the youth.

The World Drug Report 2021, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), indicated that deaths attributed to drug-related disorders had almost doubled over the past decade. The youth, which makes up nearly 60% of Pakistan’s total population, remained especially vulnerable to drug abuse, he said adding students and parents must be sensitized through workshops and seminars with the help of the media, civil society, and educational institutions.

“To this end, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) can play an important role and it has been directed to implement a strict policy to counter drug abuse in higher educational institutions.”

He said, “Today, we also celebrate the tremendous efforts Pakistan has made in collaboration with international organizations to address drug-related challenges.”

International cooperation had helped limit the proliferation of new psychoactive substances used by younger generations, he added.

He commended the Ministry of Narcotics Control for the measures it had taken to combat the trafficking of illicit drugs in our society and mitigate the detrimental impacts of drug abuse. Pakistan had also achieved the status of a poppy-free state which was a reflection of the proactive approach taken by the Ministry of Narcotics Control/Anti-Narcotics Force, he mentioned.

“Only with cooperation and collective commitment will we achieve our vision of a world free of this menace. We are committed to making Pakistan a model country, in the region and beyond, in this fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking,” he concluded.

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