Members of the Taliban Badri 313 military unit stand guard at a checkpoint in Kabul on Saturday. AFP
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres will travel to Geneva to convene a high-level conference on aid for Afghanistan on September 13, to seek a swift scale-up in funding to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where nearly half the country’s 38 million people need assistance, his spokesman said Friday.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric made the announcement on Friday that the UN appeal for $1.3 billion for 2021 to help more than 18 million people is just 40% funded, leaving a $766 million deficit.
"Afghanistan faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe,” the UN spokesman said. "One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from. Nearly half of all children under the age of 5 are predicted to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months.”
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during a meeting. File photo
"The conference will advocate for a swift scale-up in funding so the lifesaving humanitarian operation can continue; and appeal for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need," he said in a statement.
The country, now under the control of the Taliban after 20 years of war, is facing a "looming humanitarian catastrophe," Stephane Dujarric warned.
He said development gains must also be protected in the country and that the rights of women were an "essential" part of Afghanistan's future stability.
Even before the Taliban victory, Afghanistan was heavily aid-dependent -- with 40 percent of the country's GDP drawn from foreign funding.
The UN has warned 18 million people are facing a humanitarian disaster, and another 18 million could quickly join them.
"One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from. Nearly half of all children under the age of five are predicted to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months," Dujarric said.
Afghanistan was not the only country sending a message: North Korea had one for the United States, saying it was up to Washington whether now-stalled nuclear negotiations "become a window of opportunity or an occasion that will hasten the crisis."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a letter from Taliban-appointed Amir Khan Muttaqi "requesting to participate" in the high-level debate, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
China and Russia have described last month's Taliban victory as a defeat for the United States and moved to work with the insurgents, but no country has moved to recognise a government that includes international pariahs.
On Friday, the actor and humanitarian, who works as a special envoy to the United Nations refugee agency, used her first-ever Instagram post to share a letter that she received from an Afghan girl expressing her fear over the Taliban.
The deployment of the team, the first of its kind in the world to be in Derna following the natural disaster that hit the country recently, comes as part of the UAE's efforts to aid Libya in dealing with the aftermath of the floods caused by the heavy rains, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries.
UAE Minister Sultan Al Jaber calls on the world to be 'brave and bold' and get 'back on track' to meet its climate ambitions, reaffirming the founding principles of UN and to think 'beyond borders, beyond politics.'
Chairperson of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park, Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, welcomed inspiring women from around the world to The Women in Tech Forum and The Women in Tech Awards held at the SRTI Park ..
This came during a press conference held at the IACAD's headquarters in the presence of Dr. Hamad Bin Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Director General of IACAD, Mohammed Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi, Executive Director of the Mosques Affairs, Dr. Omar Mohammed Al Khatib, Executive Director of the Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansouri, Advisor for Cultural Communication, and Mohammed Musabah Dahi, Executive Director of the Charitable Work, along with directors of departments.