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Radio remains key source of information for rural communities

AT News Report

KUNDUZ: In its efforts to support public dialogue among Afghans about reconciliation, peace and human rights, UNAMA works closely with local media partners –not just in the provincial capitals but also at district-level.

One of the districts where listeners have the benefit of a local radio station is Imam Sahib in Kunduz province, a district adjacent to the Shir Khan border, one of the key passes between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Since last year UNAMA has been cooperating with Radio Jaihoon in Imam Sahib district to create more opportunities for local residents to come together and discuss publicly issues that are of critical importance to them.

Noorullah Doost, in charge of Radio Jaihoon, believes that cooperation with UNAMA enhances the variety of topics and provides local residents with access to information about protection of civilians, women’s rights and the functioning of democracy. He is hoping to deepen the engagement of youthful audiences in constructive discussions through radio as a platform, as the use of social media is limited in the area due to security and other issues.

Speaking about the practical aspects of expanding the scope of information aired by Radio Jaihoon, Doost said, “Radio messages on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, broadcast through our station last year, were welcome by the audiences; some of the listeners told our staff that those messages made them think about how to keep themselves, particularly their children, safe and away from the conflicts and violent incidents.”

UNAMA has three field offices in the northeastern region in Kunduz, Badakhshan and Baghlan. The population has access to national and numerous provincial media outlets, however only a few radio stations operate in the districts. The UN Mission is collaborating with Radio Jaihoon in Imam Sahib, Radio Payman in Baghlan-e-Jadid district of Baghlan, as well as Radio Kishm in Jurm district of Badakhshan, helping thousands of rural householders, in often remote locations, engage in programmes on democratic processes, peace, women’s rights and protection of civilians in armed conflict.

In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.

UNAMA provides ‘good offices’ and other key services, including diplomatic steps that draw on the organization’s independence, impartiality and integrity to prevent disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. The Mission coordinates international support for Afghan development and humanitarian priorities.

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