UN releases emergency funds in support of Afghan people

Following the plea from Afghanistan officials to the international community to assist the Afghan people, the United Nations has stepped forward and released US$45 million in emergency funds.

A line of women in traditional Islamic garb.
The emergency relief funds come as Afghanistan faces many hurdles after international donors such as the World Bank and the European Union froze their funding. Picture: Amber Clay from Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, September 23 (ANA) – Following the plea from Afghanistan officials to the international community to assist the Afghan people, the United Nations has stepped forward and released US$45 million in emergency funds.

The UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief co-ordinator, Martin Griffiths, said in a statement on Wednesday that the funds were in aid of life-saving support after the nation’s health-care system plunged when the Taliban regained control last month.

The emergency relief funds come as Afghanistan faces many hurdles after international donors such as the World Bank and the European Union froze their funding.

“Allowing Afghanistan’s health-care delivery system to fall apart would be disastrous,” said Griffiths.

“The UN is determined to stand by the people of Afghanistan in their hour of need,” he said.

Griffiths added that while essential health-care workers were not being paid, medical supplies and medicines were also running out.

According to Al Jazeera, the funds will go through the UN’s health and children’s agencies, and with the help of partnered NGOs. They will allow hospitals and Covid-19 centres to remain open until the end of the year.

Various humanitarian organisations have also stepped up in aid of Afghanistan while warning of an impending humanitarian crisis.

Earlier this month, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) offered relief assistance in the form of food, shelter and Covid-19 vaccines.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that they will “continue to support the people of Afghanistan” and that they will ensure that the health gains of the past two decades were not lost.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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