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Donor Conference Seeks Hundreds of Millions of Support for Afghanistan

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A United Nations donor conference for Afghanistan begins on Monday. Barely a month after the Taliban seized power in the country, the country is in a deepening humanitarian crisis. Afghanistan needs about $600 million by the end of this year, according to UN calculations.

 

While many countries want to provide humanitarian aid, there are concerns about spending it now that the Taliban has taken over. According to the donors, the aid must therefore be subject to conditions.

Basic services in Afghanistan are collapsing. Humanitarian aid must maintain medical services, water supplies and sanitation. The aid should also include measures to support women and children and the setting up of educational projects. In addition, it could fund emergency shelters for the estimated 3.5 million displaced people in Afghanistan.

Money is also needed for food aid. According to the UN, 93 percent of households in the country do not have enough to eat.

About forty ministers will attend the conference. UN Secretary-General António Guterres is also expected in Geneva. Others are likely to follow the conference online.

UN refugee commissioner Filippo Grandi warned on Sunday of a “resurgence of fighting, human rights violations or the collapse of the economy and basic social services.” According to Grandi, these developments could lead many more Afghans than currently flee abroad.

“It is now up to us as an international community to take responsibility for the people of Afghanistan and deliver humanitarian aid where it is most urgently needed. Naturally, this requires appropriate access for humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan. But, unfortunately, aid workers who do not have to fear their work are subject to intimidation, and arbitrary restrictions by the Taliban,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said before leaving for Geneva.

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