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Pakistani PM Signs Off On Afghan-Assistance Package

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (file photo)
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (file photo)

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved a nearly $30 million assistance package aimed at helping Afghanistan deal with a deteriorating humanitarian crisis.

Khan signed off on the deal in Islamabad on November 22 while chairing a meeting of the Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC), which was recently formed to address the turbulent situation following the Taliban's return to power in Kabul in August.

The aid package will include wheat and emergency medical supplies to help drought-stricken and economically suffering Afghanistan deal with what the United Nations has said could become a "humanitarian catastrophe."

In addition, Pakistan will reduce tariffs and sales taxes on Afghan exports to Pakistan and will extend a program that provides free coronavirus vaccinations to Afghans entering Pakistan by land, according to a statement by Khan's office.

While addressing the meeting attended by high-ranking officials, Khan said that the "world owed its support to ensure that [Afghans] can live in a peaceful and stable environment after years of constant conflict."

A delegation of senior Afghan health representatives is expected to visit Pakistan this week to work out ways for Pakistan to aid Afghanistan's health sector, which is under strain from the loss of funding, the coronavirus pandemic, and a shortage of health-care workers in the wake of the Taliban takeover.

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