UN refugee agency awaits full access to Afghans in rainsoaked camps

More than18,000 people camped in the open at the Jalozai site near the northwest Pakistani border city of Peshawar have been severely affected by torrential rains and wind that hit last week, destroying more than 3,150 shelters and flooding sections of the already squalid site, according to Kris Janowski, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The spokesman said that despite repeated appeals from UNHCR, and an apparent agreement reached two weeks ago between UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf that agencies would help Afghans inside Afghanistan as well as the recent arrivals in Pakistan, the Islamabad Government had yet to facilitate the delivery of adequate assistance by relief agencies to meet all the needs in Jalozai. “Children are suffering and dying unnecessarily at Jalozai, where deaths are recorded daily,” Mr. Janowski told reporters at the agency’s Geneva headquarters. He warned that the Pakistani authorities had permitted UNHCR and other agencies to deliver “only a minimum of services and assistance” to those in need.Describing the inhumane conditions prevailing at Jalozai, Mr. Janowski said paths in the camp “have been reduced to cesspools, with flies breeding among the flimsy shelters and the smell of human excrement pervasive throughout the site.” He added that the overcrowded conditions and the site’s severely overstretched sanitation facilities, combined with the start of the rains, “are raising the danger of epidemics.”More than 170,000 Afghans have fled to Pakistan since last September, adding to the more than 1.2 million Afghans already in the country.According to UNHCR, the humanitarian situation inside Afghanistan is “desperate,” with up to 1 million Afghans affected by famine while others flee the civil war that still rages in parts of the country. read more

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Ohio State womens lacrosse overpowers San Diego State 1911

The Ohio State women’s lacrosse team claimed a victory against the San Diego State Aztecs, 19-11, at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Wednesday night after tying its season-high for most goals in a period. Thanks to a team-high of five points off three assists and two goals by sophomore attackman Jackie Cifarelli, OSU improved to 5-6 overall and 4-1 at home. The Buckeyes played at full speed in the first half of the game, scoring 12 points and shooting with 63 percent accuracy. Less than a minute into the match, Cifarelli made the first score of the game. After another 20 minutes, OSU had built a 9-2 lead. The Aztecs, though, would answer and trade goals back and forth with OSU, but OSU didn’t lose the lead, going into the half with a score of 12-5. Junior attackman Katie Chase said it was teamwork that got OSU going. “We started playing together really well,” Chase said. “Our defense got some really big stops for us and our attack got it flowing. Once we got into the flow of the game, our goals just kept coming. It was a strong team effort all around.” Coming out of the game’s intermission, though, the Aztecs scored four goals in the first five minutes of the half, cutting OSU’s lead to three, 12-9. Chase, though, said the comeback was expected. “We knew that was going to happen,” she said. “We just needed to get back in the flow of our game.” The Buckeyes quickly called a timeout, and after that, they controlled the rest of the half. Chase said remembering the team’s theme this year provided the boost necessary. “Our theme is ‘Buckeye Strong,’ be strong all over the field,” Chase said. “Our thing this year is just playing with heart, playing like you want it all over the field, play for each other.” The Buckeyes went on to score five consecutive goals and earn their biggest lead of the game, 18-10, with just more than 10 minutes left in the game. “San Diego State is a great team,” OSU’s women’s lacrosse coach Alexis Venechanos said. “They took us to our last limits and it was a very challenging game but we definitely responded so we are able to take some positives.” The Buckeyes finished with 11 saves and 15 groundballs despite 22 fouls and seven turnovers. OSU is scheduled to take on Vanderbilt at noon Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

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