7 May 2009The United Nations today opened its 19th office in Afghanistan, in Tirin Kot, the capital of the southern province of Uruzgan, as part of its continued expansion across the strife-torn nation. “We are here to reach out to all citizens of Uruzgan, to meet their humanitarian needs, to help build institutions and to support development,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Kai Eide said at the opening. “I hope our presence will be welcomed by all – including the armed opposition.”Mr. Eide, who heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said he hoped the expansion of the world body’s presence across different provinces will encourage others to follow suit. “Our ambition is to serve as a magnet for others; for UN agencies in development and humanitarian work; for NGOs and development agencies,” he stated. “The opening of our office should serve as a signal encouraging others to come and work in this province.”The Special Representative added that the UN is continuing to expand and hopes to have a permanent presence in 20 provinces by next week. UNAMA currently has offices in Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz, Herat, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Bamiyan, Kabul, Gardez, Ghor, Kunar, Khost, Nimroz, Badghis, Maimana, Faizabad, Daikundi and Zabul provinces. In addition, it has two liaison offices in Tehran and Islamabad.