International. UN calls for record $ 5 billion in aid to secure Afghanistan ‘future’

The United Nations has asked for a record $ 5 billion to fund aid to Afghanistan this year and secure a future for a country threatened by humanitarian disaster.

It is only an emergency solution, but “the fact is that without (this aid plan), there will be no future” for Afghanistan, said Martin Griffiths, the under-secretary general. from the UN to humanitarian affairs, during a press briefing in Geneva on Monday.

An amount never claimed

The UN needs $ 4.4 billion from donor countries to fund humanitarian needs this year, the largest amount ever claimed for a single country, a statement from the organization said.

This amount would be used to expand the delivery of food and support for agriculture, to finance health services, treatment against malnutrition, emergency shelters, access to water and sanitation but also education. Some 22 million people, more than half of the country’s population, are in urgent need of assistance.

But the United Nations also needs $ 623 million more to help the 5.7 million Afghans who have been refugees, sometimes for many years, in five neighboring countries, mainly Iran and Pakistan. Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner for Refugees, warned bluntly: “if the country collapses, implodes (…) then we will see a much larger exodus of people. And this population movement will be difficult to manage in the region but also beyond, because it will not stop in the region ”.

No money for the Taliban

The country has been ruled since August by the Taliban, who took back power and ousted the government, supported at arm’s length by the international community and American military power after 20 years of guerrilla warfare. The sanctions regime put in place to try to make Islamic fundamentalists make concessions on women’s rights in particular, have plunged the country – already very dependent on international aid – into a deep economic crisis. It is further aggravated by a drought that has been raging for several years.

To reassure donors, Griffiths insisted that the funds – which represent a quarter of the country’s official GDP – would not go through the Taliban but would be used directly by some 160 NGOs and UN agencies on the ground. A distribution facilitated by the security situation which is the best in years, underlined Mr. Griffiths.

The Security Council’s decision in December to facilitate humanitarian aid and gestures of goodwill from Washington for a year helped reassure financial actors, paralyzed by fear of violating sanctions and thus depriving the country of essential liquidity. its operation.

Create a dialogue to progress

While the international community is still looking for an effective way to put pressure on the Taliban to change, in particular, the way they treat women, very quickly deprived of most of the rights acquired through hard work for 20 years, Mr. Grandi explained that this aid “also created a space for dialogue with the Taliban which is very precious”.

Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by

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