Needing $5 billion for starving Afghans, UN launches its largest ever humanitarian fundraising

The United Nations (UN) has been seeking $5 billion in aid for Afghans —the largest so far for any aid program in UN history—as the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, following the Taliban’s takeover, now threatens the entire population

Jan 12, 2022
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Needing $5 billion for starving Afghans (Photo: Newsln)

The United Nations (UN) has been seeking $5 billion in aid for Afghans —the largest so far for any aid program in UN history—as the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, following the Taliban’s takeover, now threatens the entire population. Since August last year, the Afghan economy has all but collapsed and hunger is widespread. 

The UN will also hold a pledging conference in March this year and has already issued appeals for donations. On Tuesday, the United States has announced new funding, $308 million for the USAID that will its own independent aid program with independent Afghan NGOs.

The Afghan appeal for 2021 was the best-funded, said UN Humanitarian Chief Mattin Griffiths, “we are confident that member states solidarity and generosity will come through in 2022.”

Calling the latest request “the largest ever appeal,” he said there was a high degree of consensus on the increasingly desperate needs of the Afghan people and the response was “encouraging.” 

Of the total 34 million Afghans, around 22.8 million are facing acute hunger, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. Over a million children are at risk of death due to malnutrition.  Faced with sanctions, frozen aid, and virtually cut-off from the international banking system, Afghans are facing a huge cash crunch. 

Such is the severity of the crisis that people, who put up their household items on sale, find no buyers now. An overwhelming population now spends money only on securing their next meal. 

Scattered reports suggested an increase in deaths due to starvation. The number of beggars in Afghan cities are reported growing at a rapid pace. 

About $9 billion of Afghan reserves, most of which is held in the United States, remains blocked following the Taliban takeover. And, the International Monetary Fund blocked about $450 million because of a “lack of clarity” about a new government. Teachers, healthcare workers, and civil servants all are unpaid for months. 

The latest joint appeal seeks $4.4 billion for the UN and its humanitarian partners to help 22 million people in Afghanistan, about half the country’s population, said the American newswire, The Associated Press. It also included $623 million for the 5.7 million Afghans who fled abroad to neighboring Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

(SAM)

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