UN mobilizes 600 million USD for Afghanistan

The United Nations convened an aid conference in Geneva in an effort to raise more than $600 million for Afghanistan in the face of a humanitarian crisis.

The conference calling for aid to Afghanistan is scheduled to take place in Geneva from September 13, with the participation of UN leaders such as Secretary General Antonio Guterres, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer and dozens of representatives from governments, including German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

About a third of the $606 million the United Nations hopes to raise for Afghanistan will go to the World Food Program (WFP). The agency conducted a survey in Afghanistan in August and September and found that 93% of the 1,600 respondents did not have enough food, mainly due to a lack of cash.

“It’s a race against time and weather to provide assistance to the people of Afghanistan. We have to beg and borrow everywhere to avoid our food stocks running out,” said WFP deputy regional director Anthea. Webb said.

An Afghan family moves to the border fence with Pakistan on September 6.  Photo: Reuters.

An Afghan family moves to the border fence with Pakistan on September 6. Photo: Reuters.

The UN meeting comes at a time when the organization is also struggling with costs. Secretary-General Guterres said last week that the United Nations was still struggling to pay staff salaries.

Even before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, about 18 million people, or half the country’s population, depended on aid. UN officials and aid groups fear that number will rise due to drought, cash and food shortages under the new administration.

The sudden halt by countries of billions of dollars in aid to Afghanistan after the collapse of the old government further aggravated the country’s difficulties. The World Health Organization (WHO) is also looking to support health facilities at risk of closing after many donors withdrew from Afghanistan.

Ngoc Anh (Follow Reuters)

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