The third stage of the action by the international humanitarian coalition (IHC) to give food aid to Northern Afghanistan is being postponed until the autumn.
The chief engineer of the Badakhshonnakliyet (the main freight company) joint-stock company, Kudrat Davlyatenov, told a Vecherniy Bishkek correspondent this, quoting the organizers of the operation. He said that the drivers of the Osh [Kyrgyzstan] and Mountainous Badakhshon [Autonomous Region] (Tajikistan) transport enterprises that are involved in the delivery of humanitarian aid have been sent off on unpaid leave.
Experts stress that the high-altitude route through the Pamirs has recently existed only because of deliveries from the international community to Mountainous Badakhshon and Northern Afghanistan. The main donors are the UN World Food Programme, the British Department for International Development and the Aga Khan Fund [for Economic Development].
The IHC operation has given jobs to approximately 2,000 staff at motor vehicle, road and supply organizations in the aforementioned Regions of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Source: Vecherniy Bishkek web site, Bishkek, in Russian 4 Jul 02