UN asks to work with Taliban to save Afghanistan from disaster

Geneva, Sep 13 (EFE).- The international community pledged $1 billion in aid for Afghanistan during a fundraiser organized by the United Nations, admitting the need to work with the Taliba to deliver assistance to people in need.

“It is impossible to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan without engaging with the de facto authorities,” Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General said at a presser.

Foreign ministers from nearly 100 countries took part in the conference.

It is important to approach the Taliban regimen to address this and other aspects of concern for the international community such as terrorism and the fight against drug trafficking, among others, Guterres added.

The Taliban offered the under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, written guarantees that they would allow delivery of the aid and would even protect the process, he said during the conference.

However, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet during a Human Rights Council meeting complained that workers from United Nations agencies in Afghanistan are being subjected to more attacks.

The aid pledged exceeds the UN’s initial goal of $600 million to help 11 million Afghans this year.

Afghanistan has also been struggling with a serious drought that puts the food security of a third of the population at risk, including more than a million children who are suffering from serious malnutrition, according to Unicef.

During his speech, Griffiths said that any possible sanctions the international community may impose on Afghanistan should avoid disturbing the aid delivery.

“The people of Afghanistan – especially Afghan women and girls – need us more than ever,” he said. “The upheavals of recent weeks are deepening a pre-existing humanitarian crisis.”

During the conference, foreign ministers such as Germany’s Heiko Maas demanded that action rather than promises be taken into account in future collaboration with the Taliban.

Afghanistan’s neighboring countries – such as Iran and Pakistan – have demanded aid for millions of refugees who fled to their territories years ago, although they have adopted different positions towards the Afghan situation.

EFE abc/ta-bp

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