The chief of the UN has stated Afghanistan requires $4.4 billion to avert a food crisis, as he launches the UN relief agency’s largest-ever fundraising push for a single nation.
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated certain Afghans have turned to “selling their kids and body parts” to obtain food. Nearly all Afghans lack access to adequate food.
The Taliban Takeover
Guterres’ speech was part of a passionate appeal by the world body to assist distressed Afghans. Their situation has deteriorated significantly since the Taliban reclaimed control last year.
To get closer to the $4.4 billion targets, Guterres convened a virtual pledge conference endorsed by the U.K., Germany, and Qatar.
The figure is ambitious, especially given that most of the world’s attention is focused on Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. Some wealthy nations blocked nearly $9 billion in Afghan assets abroad to prevent the Taliban from accessing them.
Senior UN officials have visited Afghanistan in recent weeks, meeting with top Taliban officials to reassure them the nation has not been forgotten.
Afghanistan is collapsing under the weight of a crippling humanitarian crisis and a failing economy, according to the United Nations. Around 23 million people are facing acute food insecurity.
The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated alarmingly in past months.
9 million people are at risk of famine. The economy has effectively collapsed.
I call on donors to fund our appeal urgently so that the UN & partners can continue to deliver lifesaving aid.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 31, 2022
Guterres pleaded with the international community to “protect” Afghans who’ve had their rights removed – including many women and children – following the Taliban’s August takeover of its internationally recognized government.
The developed world has attempted to pinch the Taliban financially to elicit desired reforms.
During the United Nations donors meeting on Thursday, more than three dozen nations pledged about $2.44 billion for international aid in Afghanistan.
According to Reuters, the $2.44 billion hauls were just more than half of the United Nations’ $4.4 billion request.
They garnered support from the European Union, the U.S., and the United Kingdom as humanitarian circumstances deteriorated under Taliban authority.
“Around 95% of the world’s population is food insecure. Famine threatens nine million people.”
“According to UNICEF, a million extremely impoverished children are on the point of death if urgent action is not taken,” Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, stated.
The United States was one of the conference’s major donors, having pledged $204 million in help.
“As with all US assistance, this humanitarian assistance will be disbursed directly through non-governmental organizations and the United Nations.”
According to the site, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield will not be able to dictate how our humanitarian assistance is spent.
According to Al Jazeera, the United Kingdom committed 286 million pounds, or $374 million, in advance of the meeting, while Germany committed $220 million.
Since the Taliban took control in August, the humanitarian crisis has “deteriorated dramatically,” Guterres said, and humanitarian assistance will provide a “fragile tether for millions of Afghans.”
The Taliban are asserting control over nongovernmental organizations working in Afghanistan, demanding a greater say over who receives aid https://t.co/MmP7DqNMUF
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 31, 2022
Last summer, Taliban fighters seized control of the government.
The Taliban have since put in place several strict rules that have been slammed by the US and other western countries.
These include barring women from traveling alone on domestic and international routes from Afghanistan and shutting down girls’ schools just hours after they reopened.