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TEAR Fund stays on in Afghanistan

For Immediate Release: 30/07/04

TEAR Fund stays on in Afghanistan

Development agency TEAR Fund New Zealand will stay in Afghanistan, despite an upsurge in violence.

Several humanitarian agencies have had to pull out of the troubled country due to targeted attacks against aid workers.

Taliban fighters are accused of killed 30 aid workers since the beginning of 2003. Most recently five Médecins Sans Frontières workers were ambushed and killed.

"Up to this point TEAR Fund, working through local Afghani staff, feels confident to remain. However we understand the need for NGO's in other parts of Afghanistan to leave," says TEAR Fund Executive Director Stephen Tollestrup.

"Whenever tragedy strikes an NGO, the entire development community joins in their grief."

Years of war and neglect have left the Afghan economy ruined. Only nine per cent of the population has access to electricity. Access to safe drinking water is estimated at six per cent.

TEAR Fund is working to provide sustainable livelihoods and nutritional food for families in the Dara-i-Noor region of Afghanistan.

ENDS

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