Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

UN Assistant Chief Martin Griffiths has called on the international community to say ‘full-scale humanitarian disaster threatens’ in Afghanistan.

The United Nations has said it needs nearly $ 5 billion in aid to Afghanistan by 2022, as the world body launches its largest humanitarian call ever for a single country to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

The UN humanitarian agency said on Tuesday that $ 4.4bn was needed inside Afghanistan, while a further $ 623m was needed to support the millions of Afghans hiding outside its borders.

More than half of the population – some 22 million people – face acute hunger, the UN said, adding that a further 5.7 million displaced Afghans in five neighboring countries need essential relief this year.

“A full-scale humanitarian disaster threatens. My message is urgent: do not close the door on the people of Afghanistan, “said Martin Griffiths, UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

“Help us to scale up and ward off widespread hunger, disease, malnutrition and eventually death.”

Since the Taliban take control of Afghanistan last August, the country plunged into financial chaos, with inflation and unemployment rising after Washington billion dollars frozen of the country’s assets and international financial institutions suspending funds. In addition, aid supplies were severely disrupted due to US sanctions.

Afghanistan also suffered its worst drought in decades in 2021.

Without the aid package, “there will be no future”, Griffiths told reporters in Geneva.

’40 years of uncertainty ‘

Griffiths said the appeal, if funded, would help aid agencies promote food and agricultural support, health services, malnutrition treatment, emergency shelters, access to water and sanitation, protection and education.

It is estimated that 4.7 million people will suffer from acute malnutrition by 2022, including 1.1 million children with severe acute malnutrition.

Griffiths said without humanitarian aid, distress, death, famine and further mass displacement would follow, “robbing the people of Afghanistan of the hope that their country will be their home and support, now and in the near term”.

However, if international donors come forward, “we will see the opportunity for an Afghanistan that can finally see the fruits of some kind of security”.

Fear of explosion

Griffiths said the security situation for humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan was probably better now than it had been for many years, adding that the staff in the ministries in Kabul had remained largely the same as before the Taliban takeover.

He said the UN Security Council’s move in December to help humanitarian aid reach desperate Afghans, without violating international sanctions aimed at isolating the Taliban, had greatly reduced the operating environment for donors and humanitarian personnel on the ground. made more comfortable.

The money goes to 160 NGOs plus UN agencies that provide assistance. Some will be used to pay frontline workers such as health care workers – but not through the Taliban administration.

About eight million children could miss their education because teachers have been largely unpaid since August, Griffiths said.

Filippo Grandi, head of the UN refugee agency, said the aim of the aid package was to stabilize the situation inside Afghanistan, including for internally displaced persons, in order to prevent a further flood of migrants fleeing the country’s borders.

“That movement of people will be difficult to manage, in the region and beyond, because it will not stop at the region,” he said.

“If these efforts are not successful, we will have to ask for $ 10 billion next year, not $ 5 billion,” he added.

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