United Nations to convene high-level meeting to assist 38 million Afghans: Guterres - The Naija Weekly

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Saturday, September 4, 2021

United Nations to convene high-level meeting to assist 38 million Afghans: Guterres


 


Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, says the organisation will convene in Geneva a high-level ministerial conference on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan on September 13.


In a statement on Friday by his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, Mr Guterres said the conference would seek a swift scale-up in funding to assist nearly half of Afghanistan’s 38-million people in need of humanitarian assistance.


The funding is to continue the life-saving humanitarian operation already in place and for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to ensure Afghans continued to get the essential services they needed.


Afghanistan faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe. One in three Afghans does not know where the next meal will come from. Nearly half of all children aged under five are predicted to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months, said the statement.


Mr Guterres said development gains must also be protected to link the humanitarian response with the medium and long-term stability of Afghanistan.


The statement added that the rights, safety and well-being of women and girls were essential parts of the link.


Mr Guterres said the concept note of the meeting was for the international community to take swift action to ensure that humanitarian funding for the people of Afghanistan is scaled up while remaining flexible and responsive to escalating needs.


The statement said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) would on Tuesday release a flash appeal covering the most pressing humanitarian needs and funding requirements for the next four months.


Meanwhile, the UN 2021 humanitarian response plan for Afghanistan is only 40 per cent funded, leaving a deficit of $766 million U.S., said OCHA earlier on Friday.


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