UN says USD 1.2 billion pledged to help Afghans in need

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Foreigners board a Qatar Airways aircraft at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021

The UN humanitarian chief says USD 1.2 billion has been promised to help Afghans facing a growing humanitarian crisis in the country and millions in the region, calling the pledges “an important step” toward helping the needy. Under secretary-General Martin Griffiths announced the total in pledges at the closing of a high-level ministerial meeting in Geneva on Monday that was seeking USD 606 million until the end of the year to help 11 million people.

Griffiths says the USD 1.2 billion includes funding for that appeal as well as the regional response to the Afghan crisis, which U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi spoke about from Kabul.

Griffiths is urging donors to turn the pledges into cash contributions as fast as possible, saying that “the funding will throw a lifeline to Afghans” who lack food, health care and protection.

He says the meeting showed solidarity with the Afghan people but adds that “Afghanistan faces a long and hard road ahead” and this “is far from the end of the journey.”

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had termed the Afghanistan situation a “humanitarian emergency of internal displacement” as more than half a million Afghan civilians have been displaced from the war-ravaged country. Taking to Twitter, the UNHRC had said, “More than half a million Afghan civilians have already been displaced. The full impact of the evolving political situation isn’t clear. What is clear is that we are witnessing large-scale displacement amid what is now a humanitarian emergency of internal displacement.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had said that he will convene a high-level humanitarian conference for Afghanistan on September 13.

Taking to Twitter, Guterres said that Afghan children, women and men need support and solidarity from the international community.

Also Read | United Nations raises alarm on Taliban crackdown on dissent, journalists

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