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German Government sets up Afghanistan Winter Aid Task Force in Kabul

14.11.2008

In preparation for a looming grave shortage of supplies during the Afghan winter, the German Government is setting up an Afghanistan Winter Aid Task Force at the German Embassy in Kabul with immediate effect. The Task Force will assess the current situation on the ground and subsequently coordinate the provision of German aid. It will thus help to avert a major humanitarian crisis.

The Task Force will be headed by the German Ambassador, Werner Lauk. Alongside the Federal Foreign Office, it will comprise experts from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as the Federal Ministry of Defence.

There will be ongoing coordination with international organizations such as the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP). The task force will also be in close contact with German and international relief organizations.

The Federal Foreign Office has already made available 5.3 million euro for winter aid projects in Afghanistan. German aid organizations received one million euro, while another two million euro went to the ICRC. In addition, the Federal Foreign Office is providing UNHCR with 2.36 million euro to enable it to support internally displaced persons and Afghan returnees.

This brings the total amount made available by the Federal Foreign Office for humanitarian aid and humanitarian demining in Afghanistan since 2001 to around 81 million euro.

Moreover, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has already provided some 33 million euro this year for food security in crisis situations – also with a view to the coming winter.

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