UN envoy says Afghanistan is on the brink of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’

The UN envoy to Afghanistan said on Wednesday that the country was on the brink of “humanitarian catastrophe”, pointing to food shortages and the country’s crumbling economy, and warned that extremism could arise due to current conditions.

During a press conference, Deborah Lyons said she told the UN Security Council that the regional and global community must continue to help Afghanistan as it enters the winter, when pressing issues could lead to “terrible loss of life.”

“Now is not the time to turn away from the Afghan people. I stressed this to the Security Council, stressed the need for the regional and global community to remain committed to helping the people of Afghanistan as they face this very difficult winter with huge problems of not just food shortages but a crumbling economy, “he said. Lyons.

“The Afghan people must not feel abandoned or forgotten by the international community, or any of the regional countries for that matter, because of the Taliban’s takeover. We need to find ways to prevent an impending humanitarian catastrophe and the terrible loss of life that can happen during the winter, and we can prevent it, ”she added.

Conditions in Afghanistan have been declining since the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country following the US withdrawal in August, putting the region at risk of food insecurity and other pressing problems.

A report by the United Nations World Food Program and the Food Agriculture Organization published last month showed that nearly 19 million Afghans, or 47 percent of the population, experienced high levels of acute food insecurity between September and October this year.

The group said the main forces driving the acute food insecurity were “drought and its impact on crops and livestock, the collapse of public services, a severe economic crisis and rising food prices.”

Conditions are expected to worsen in the coming months. Between November 2021 and March next year, some 22.8 million Afghans will experience “high levels of acute food insecurity,” equivalent to 55 percent of the total population, according to the report.

Lack of international assistance has contributed to the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported.

Lyons said Wednesday that the main driver of the impending humanitarian catastrophe is economic sanctions against the Taliban, claiming that such tolls have “paralyzed the banking system, affecting all aspects of the economy.”

She said further support from the regional and international community could make a “big, life-saving difference”, while also calling for on “de facto authorities” in Afghanistan to respond to the concerns of individuals in the country.

“It does not have to be this way. We all recognize what is needed to prevent the economic and social collapse. We must now work to find ways to prevent the millions of Afghans who are suffering and to counter any destabilization in the region. , ”She added.

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