KARACHI: Pakistan has delivered the first consignment of 1800 metric tons of wheat as humanitarian assistance to the neighbouring war-torn Afghanistan. As per details, the consignment is part of the humanitarian package of Rs5 billion for in-kind assistance for Afghanistan announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The package includes 50,000 metric tons of wheat, winter shelters and emergency medical supplies. The Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) was established in November 2021 as policy formulation and implementation forum for various activities related to providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a Rs5 billion ($28 million) assistance package that includes food items, lifesaving drugs, winter supplies and shelter besides assistance in the fields of health, education and trainings. This special cell is headed by National Security Advisor, Dr Moeed Yusuf. The members of this group come from ministries ranging from the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Commerce, representatives of Customs, National Logistics Cell (NLC), Civil Aviation, State Bank, and Frontier Corps to ensure smooth flow of people and trade across the borders.
Various initiatives under AICC have been taken that include visa facilitation for INGOs and foreign investors for relief work in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Interior has introduced an elaborate mechanism to facilitate relief activities of international non-government organizations (INGOs) in Afghanistan. The main objective of new measures is to facilitate the humanitarian assistance efforts in war-torn Afghanistan and both new INGOs as well as those already registered will benefit from it.
An INGO applying for registration would be required to submit a credentials verification letter from the concerned embassy, proof of registration in the country of origin, and source of funding along with local residence address and details of its designated staff. The Scrutiny Committee will complete the process within three weeks.
Similarly, the process of issuance of visas has been made less cumbersome and time-consuming. Time duration for processing visa requests has been reduced to 10 days and entry visas for INGO or International organizations staff wanting to work for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan will be issued without security clearance.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022