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To provide humanitarian assistance to Kunduzis, traders seek ceasefire

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: In a bid to provide humanitarian assistance to residents of Kunduz city, private sector urged the United Nations to demand warring parties to declare a ceasefire.

Traders from across the country said that they stand ready to provide aid to residents of Kunduz city, which witnessed unprecedented humanitarian challenges unleashed by the Taliban militants.

The Taliban militants captured Kunduz city last week. Kunduz was the first major city to fall to the Taliban militants in the past 14 years. Afghan security forces recently retook control of the city. However, fighting in some parts of the city is still ongoing.

The Deputy Chief of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), Khan Jan Alokozay, said traders have collected humanitarian assistance worth a total of $300,000 to be sent to dwellers of Kunduz city. “Enough aid has been collected to be sent to affected people, but the chaos doesn’t allow us to provide them to the people trapped in Kunduz,” he added.

He said that people trapped in Kunduz city don’t have access to basic facilities, including food, water and electricity. Thus, he urged the UN to interfere and urge the warring parties to declare a ceasefire.

“Due to fighting, the price of a loaf of bread has reached to Afs50 to Afs100,” he said. Alokozay added that a special commission will be formed to funnel the aid to residents of the Kunduz city.

He said that traders will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Kunduzis. He called on Afghan nation to remain united in the face of the recent crisis. “Whoever kills Afghans is enemy of Afghanistan. Thus, we should remain united and not allow enemy to create differences among Afghans,” he added.

Head of the community council of Kunduz, Mohmmad Din Hamdard, said that Kunduzis are living in critical condition and are in severe need to humanitarian assistance. He said that the aid will be funneled to needy people through a transparent process.

Hamdard slammed bombardment of Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF) hospital by a US forces that led to killing of 19 people, including three children.  He called on Afghan security forces and foreign troops to practice more caution to prevent civilian casualties in their military operations against militants.

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