United Nations chief to host Afghanistan aid meeting in Geneva - GulfToday

United Nations chief to host Afghanistan aid meeting in Geneva

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Members of the Taliban Badri 313 military unit stand guard at a checkpoint in Kabul on Saturday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

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.


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"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.”

Antonio-Guterres
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.

 

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