Afghanistan: Humanitarian people call for greater support as winter approaches |

Afghanistan was already among the world’s worst humanitarian situations before the Taliban took power in August, exacerbating existing needs and vulnerabilities.

A $ 606 million flash call launched in September to help more than 10 million vulnerable Afghans is less than 40 percent funded.

‘On loan’

Humanitarian people warned that donor promises and commitments “must be made a reality quickly” before it is too late.

“Afghanistan is on borrowed time,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, representative of the World Food Program (WFP) in the country. “I have never before seen a crisis unfold at this pace and scale.”

Afghanistan has suffered decades of conflict and displacement, as well as chronic poverty, severe drought and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly half of the population, more than 18 million people, need assistance to survive, while conflict and insecurity have displaced more than 3.5 million, with nearly 700,000 uprooted this year alone.

The country’s health system is failing and the economy is on the verge of collapse. The rights of women and girls and minorities are also seriously threatened.

“We are witnesses a new depth of distress as the drought and the economic crisis drive up food and fuel prices, ”said Ms. McGroarty and stressed that families are in desperate need of support as colder weather approaches.

Saves no effort

UN agencies and partner organizations are responding to the crisis despite economic shortcomings, logistical challenges and what they described as “an increasingly complex geopolitical situation.”

Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, the top UN humanitarian official in Afghanistan, said the people of the country “must not pay the price for collective failures” and deserve to live in peace and dignity.

“We will spare no effort to meet the needs of all women, men and children in Afghanistan,” he said. “We will continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls and minority groups, as well as everyone’s rights to employment, food, health care, education and security.”

Last month, humanitarian soldiers provided food aid to more than 3.8 million Afghans and treated about 21,000 children under the age of five, as well as 10,000 women, for acute malnutrition.

In addition, 32,000 people received blankets, warm clothing and other non-food items, and 450,000 were reached with primary and secondary health care. Support was also provided in areas such as education, agriculture and mental health.

The crisis may deepen

But they said the support shown in September must be followed up by action, otherwise the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate.

They appealed to the de facto authorities, UN member states, donors and other stakeholders to mobilize immediately to prevent a further humanitarian catastrophe.

Marin Din Kajdomcaj, Deputy Representative in Afghanistan for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), stressed the urgency and said millions will fight to survive the coming winter.

“Lack of immediate action will inevitably lead to a deeper humanitarian crisis and further displacement, which will have not only regional but global implications,” he added.

Obligation to deliver

UN agencies and partners called on countries to allow the “rapid and unrestrained movement” of emergency aid, as well as their personnel, in and out of Afghanistan.

Humanitarian economic exemptions are also needed so that funding can reach out to on-site aid organizations.

They further emphasized their obligation to deliverunconditional help based on need, in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.

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