UN warns against neglecting Afghan crisis as world focuses on Ukraine
The UN is seeking $4.4 billion from donors to enable it to continue providing humanitarian aid to millions of Afghans in need
By News Desk - March 31 2022

Recent image. Children on a queue outside a food distribution center run by the World Food Programme in Kabul Afghanistan. ( WFP/Sadeq Naseri)

On 31 March, United Nations humanitarian coordinator Martin Griffiths expressed concern that the conflict in Ukraine is overshadowing the acute humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Griffiths, who is currently in Afghanistan on a fact-finding mission, warned donors against abandoning the Afghan people as the world focuses on Ukraine. He made the comments a few hours before a UN pledging conference for Afghanistan.

The UN is seeking to raise $4.4 billion in humanitarian assistance for the Asian country.

“Ukraine is of vital importance but Afghanistan calls to our soul for commitment and loyalty,” Griffiths said, adding that donors need “to step up and be generous” in order to avert the worst in Afghanistan.

The pledging conference will be co-hosted by Germany, the UK, and Qatar.

The UN has, for months, warned that Afghanistan is at risk of total collapse if the international community does not step in to provide the much needed humanitarian aid. According to the UN, more than 60 percent of Afghanistan’s population currently depends on aid to survive.

Afghanistan is going through a humanitarian crisis that was triggered by a decision in Washington to impose sanctions on Kabul after the Taliban returned to power during the chaotic end of the US occupation of the country.

The US additionally seized billions of dollars of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves, depriving the central Asian nation of much-needed resources.

The sanctions have decimated the Afghan economy, one that was already crippled by two decades of war. The situation has been further worsened by the droughts that have hit some regions of Afghanistan for the past three years.

The $4.4 billion that the UN seeks to raise is nearly three times the amount it asked for in 2021. There are fears that it will not be able to meet its target.

On 16 March, the UN attempted to raise $4.3 billion for war-torn Yemen, but could only manage to raise $1.3 billion.

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