The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the international organizations should help Afghanistan immediately. The meeting in Geneva on Monday to raise more than $600 million for the war-torn country to prevent a humanitarian crisis.
Following the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan is dependent on aid much more than ever, said Gutteres. At least half of the country’s population faces shortages of cash and food, Reuters reports.
“At the present moment the UN is not even able to pay its salaries to its own workers,” the UN head said on Friday.
On Monday, the UN conference starts in Geneva, the event will be attended by top UN officials including the Secretary-General, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as dozens of government representatives, including the German Foreign Minister.
As the UN planned, about a third of the $606m being sought would be used by the UN World Food Programme, which found that 93 per cent of the 1,600 Afghans it surveyed in August and September were not consuming enough food, mostly because they could not get access to cash to pay for it.
Echoing the words of Gutteres, WFP deputy regional director Anthea Webb said that it’s now a race against time and the snow to deliver life-saving assistance to the Afghan people who need it most. “We are quite literally begging and borrowing to avoid food stocks running out,” she added.
The World Health Organisation, another UN agency that is part of the appeal, wants to shore up hundreds of health centres at risk of closure after donors backed out.