(Geneva) The heads of the most important UN agencies called on the international community on Thursday to provide financial support to the still underfunded humanitarian aid operations in Afghanistan to help 16 million people.
Posted on Aug 19, 2021 at 11:30 am
“The Afghan people need our support more than ever. Our organizations are committed to supporting and protecting them. We will stay in Afghanistan and keep our promises, ”they write in their statement.
This call is signed by the main leaders of the Standing Committee between the Authorities. This is the high-level coordination forum that brings together the heads of 18 UN and non-UN organizations that meet regularly but also during certain crises.
The signatories include the UN chief for humanitarian operations Martin Griffiths, the head of the world food program David Beasley and the head of the world health organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as well as the UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi.
They call on donors to step up their financial efforts: a total of 1.3 billion dollars (1.1 billion euros) will be needed to help almost 16 million people in Afghanistan, but only 37 percent of the funds requested have been received.
At the beginning of the year, half of the Afghan population – including more than four million women and almost 10 million children – needed humanitarian aid, and more than half of the children under the age of five suffered from malnutrition.
“This need has risen sharply due to conflict, drought and COVID-19. Since the end of May, the number of internally displaced persons in need of immediate humanitarian aid has more than doubled to 550,000, ”warn UN leaders.
They also call on the Taliban to “ensure safe, fast and unhindered access for aid workers – both men and women – so that they can provide aid to civilians in need everywhere”.
They also call on the international community to keep their borders open to accept Afghan refugees. “Now is not the time to abandon the Afghan people,” they emphasize.