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Afghanistan: first food distributions in Bamiyan

25-07-1996 News Release 96/29

The ICRC last week expanded its activities in Bamiyan, a town 250 kilometres north-west of Kabul, when a convoy of seven trucks managed to get through with 60 tonnes of food, seed and farming implements. The food was intended for 370 of the poorest families (comprising over 2,500 individuals) in a particularly remote area. Shortly after the convoy's arrival on Thursday, 18 July, distributions began at five points accessible to the residents of 25 villages in the Bamiyan valley.

This is the first time that an ICRC convoy has succeeded in reaching Bamiyan from Kabul; all previous attempts were halted by fighting in the area. The food-aid programme being developed by the ICRC in Bamiyan will have three main categories of beneficiaries: disabled people without work, widows caring for more than three children, and the poorest of the poor. The present distributions (wheat, rice, beans and cooking oil) were arranged in conjunction with the valley's shura ,   the traditional Afghan local assembly, and should last for two months.

Alongside the food-aid programme itself, the ICRC will help to repair the Bamiyan office of the Afghan Red Crescent Society and to rebuild the region's irrigation systems. Contacts fostered with the province's authorities will also enable the ICRC to visit detainees being held by the Wahdat party.

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