Afghanistan crisis worsens as temperatures fall, warns UNHCR |

One month after the UN-led $ 606 million appeal for solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the UN refugee agency said only 38 percent of the funds it needed to fund operations over the next two months had been received.

The development follows a call by UN chief António Guterres on Monday to the international community to inject cash into Afghanistan’s crumbling economy to prevent its collapse, for which “not only they but the whole world will pay a high price”.

The secretary general’s comments came ahead of Tuesday’s G20 meeting of leading industrialized nations, whose leaders were to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban ousted the government on August 15.

New help center

In a speech from Kabul, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said the agency was trying to set up a logistics center just outside Afghanistan’s border to distribute aid to the country’s hundreds of thousands of IDPs.

Mr. Baloch explained it Afghanistan’s economy was at a “breaking point” and that this collapse had to be avoided at all costs, especially as temperatures now dropped at night as winter approached:

“So resources are really needed to reach more and more Afghans, I mean, when talking about half the population being dependent on humanitarian aid; 20 million, that number is rising day by day“We need these resources as soon as possible,” he said.

Air bridges

The UNHCR spokesman said the agency planned to build three airlifts to scale up supplies to Afghanistan in the coming period.

Shipments will be aired to Termez, Uzbekistan, and subsequently transported through the Hairatan border point to Mazar-i-Sharif. The airlifts will supply much-needed humanitarian aid. The first plane is expected to arrive in mid-October. “

One in two in need

By early 2021, 18 million people in Afghanistan needed humanitarian assistance, half of the country’s population.

UN aid officials insist that “the window to help is narrow”, As only five percent of households have enough to eat each day, and more than half of all children under the age of five are expected to become acutely malnourished in the next year.

Severe droughts and disturbances in agriculture have increased the risk of food insecurity as winter approaches, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Households sign up for food rations at a food distribution site in Herat, Afghanistan.

© UNICEF / Sayed Bidel

Households sign up for food rations at a food distribution site in Herat, Afghanistan.

There must be action

At the extraordinary G20 meeting on Afghanistan, which took place on Tuesday, Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized, according to his spokesman’s briefing reporters in New York, that there are three areas for significant action: securing a lifeline with help for the Afghan people, avoiding a total meltdown of the country’s economy and a “constant commitment” to move things in the right direction, for the Afghan people.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said it has established four static emergency clinics along Afghanistan’s border areas to provide reproductive health and protection services to returned, internally displaced persons as well as host communities, and the agency also supports a basic health clinic for internally displaced persons in the Karokh district. Herat.

The World Food Program (WFP), for its part, warned that there is no money to pay wages or buy food, medicine or clean water. WFP said the lives of one million children are in balance as deaths due to malnutrition weave. The agency stresses that these deaths can be prevented if additional funds are now released to Afghanistan.

Secretary-General António Guterres (left) speaks at the G20 extraordinary summit on Afghanistan.

UN Photo / Eskinder Debebe

Secretary-General António Guterres (left) speaks at the G20 extraordinary summit on Afghanistan.

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