UN seeks $1.3bn humanitarian aid for Afghanistan

Photo: AP Antonio Guterres

The United Nations announced it planned to call a ministerial meeting in Geneva on 13 September to look for a swift push in funding to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where nearly half the country’s 38 million people need assistance, AP reported.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric made the announcement and said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also appeal “for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need.” Dujarric noted the UN appeal for $1.3 billion for 2021 to help more than 18 million people is just 40% funded, leaving a $766 million deficit.“Afghanistan faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe,” the UN spokesman said. “One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from. Nearly half of all children under the age of 5 are predicted to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months.”

Dujarric also said the secretary-general is “very grateful for the generosity” of Denmark, Kazakhstan, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the United States for making available facilities and transport for the temporary relocation of UN staff in Afghanistan. Dujarric announced about 100 of the UN 300 international staff were being moved to Kazakhstan to work remotely because of security concerns.

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