WORLD

Humanitarians call for greater assistance as winter approaches – Global Issue


Before the Taliban came to power in August, Afghanistan was already in the worst humanitarian situation in the world, deepening existing needs and vulnerabilities.

A আপ 606 million flash appeal was launched in September to help more than 10 million vulnerable Afghans, less than 40 percent of which was funded.

‘Borrowed time’

Humanitarians warned that donors’ promises and commitments “must be turned into reality immediately” before it is too late.

“Afghanistan is at a time of borrowing,” said Mary-Ellen McGroty, the World Food Programme’s (WFP) representative in the country. “I’ve never seen a crisis of this speed and scale before.”

Afghanistan has been plagued by decades of conflict and displacement, as well as chronic poverty, severe drought and now the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic.

Nearly half the population, more than 18 million people, need help to survive, while conflict and insecurity have displaced more than 3.5 million, up from about 700,000 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 under serious threat.

“We are witnessing a new depth of self-sufficiency as the drought and economic crisis push up food and fuel prices,” she said.

Not giving up any effort

Despite financial deficits, logistical challenges and what they described as “increasingly complex geopolitical situations”, UN agencies and partner agencies are responding to the crisis.

The head of the UN’s humanitarian office in Afghanistan, Dr. Ramirez Alkabrov, said the people of the country “do not have to pay the price for collective failure” and deserve to live in peace and dignity.

“We will spare no effort to respond to the needs of all women, men and children in Afghanistan,” she said. “We will continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls and the rights of minorities, as well as the rights of all to employment, food, health care, education and security.”

Last month, humanitarian aid provided food aid to more than 8.8 million Afghans and treated nearly 21,000 children and 10,000 women under the age of five due to acute malnutrition.

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

The crisis could deepen

But they said the outpouring of aid shown in September must be through action, otherwise the humanitarian situation would continue to deteriorate.

They appealed to de-facto authorities, UN member states, donors and other stakeholders to unite immediately to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan.

Referring to the urgency of the situation, the country’s deputy representative for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, Marine Dean Kazmadkaz, said millions of people would fight to survive next winter.

“The lack of immediate action will inevitably lead to a deeper humanitarian crisis and further displacement that will have an impact not only regionally, but globally,” he added.

Promise to deliver

UN agencies and partners have called on countries to provide assistance and allow their staff to move “quickly and neutrally” in and out of Afghanistan.

Humanitarian concessions are also needed so that the funds can reach aid agencies on the ground.

They further articulate their commitment to provide unconditional assistance on a need-to-know basis in line with the principles of humanity, neutrality, neutrality and independence.





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