Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Donors pledge $1.1 billion for 'collapsing' Afghanistan

WorldSep 13, 2021 06:32PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A family from Afghanistan walk next to fence to cross into Pakistan at the Friendship Gate crossing point, in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan September 6, 2021. REUTERS/Abdul Khaliq Achakzai 2/3

By Emma Farge and Michelle Nichols

GENEVA/NEW YORK (Reuters) -Donors have pledged more than $1.1 billion to help Afghanistan, where poverty and hunger have spiralled since the Islamist Taliban took power, and foreign aid has dried up, raising the spectre of a mass exodus.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking halfway through a U.N. conference seeking $606 million to meet Afghanistan's most pressing needs, said it was too early to say how much had been promised in response to the appeal.

After decades of war and suffering, Afghans are facing "perhaps their most perilous hour", he said.

"The people of Afghanistan are facing the collapse of an entire country — all at once."

He said food could run out by the end of this month, and the World Food Programme said 14 million people were on the brink of starvation.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan according to their strict interpretation of Islamic law from 1996-2001 and were toppled in an invasion led by the United States, which accused them of sheltering militants behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

They swept back to power last month in a lightning advance as the last U.S.-led NATO troops pulled out and the forces of the Western-backed government melted away.

With billions of dollars of aid flows abruptly ending due to Western antipathy and distrust towards the Taliban, donors had a "moral obligation" to keep helping Afghans after a 20-year engagement, several speakers in Geneva said.

Neighbours China and Pakistan https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/west-ponders-aid-afghanistan-china-pakistan-quick-provide-relief-2021-09-12 had already offered help.

HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS

But U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, also in Geneva, underlined the Western misgivings. She accused the Taliban of breaking recent promises by once more ordering women to stay at home rather than go to work, keeping teenage girls out of school, and persecuting former opponents.

Beijing last week promised $31 million worth of food and health supplies, and on Friday said it would send a first batch of 3 million coronavirus vaccines.

Pakistan sent food and medicine, and it called for Afghan assets frozen abroad to be released. Iran said it had dispatched an air cargo of aid.

"Past mistakes must not be repeated. The Afghan people must not be abandoned," said Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, whose country has close relations with the Taliban and would most likely bear the brunt of an exodus of refugees.

Both China and Russia said the main burden of helping Afghanistan out of crisis should lie with Western countries.

"The U.S. and its allies have a greater obligation to extend economic, humanitarian and livelihood assistance," said Chen Xu, China's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.

The United States pledged $64 million in new humanitarian assistance at the conference, while Norway pledged an extra $11.5 million.

Even before the Taliban's seizure of Kabul last month, half the population - or 18 million people - depended on aid. That looks set to increase due to drought and shortages.

Around $200 million of the new money is earmarked for the U.N. World Food Programme, which found that 93% of the 1,600 Afghans it surveyed in August and September were not getting enough to eat.

"BRINK OF STARVATION"

WFP Executive Director David Beasley said 40% of Afghanistan's wheat crop had been lost, the price of cooking oil had doubled, and most people anyway had no way of getting money.

While banks have started reopening, the queues for withdrawals are extremely long, and more importantly, no one who depended on the government for a salary - from civil servants to police - has been paid since July.

"Fourteen million people, one out of three, are marching to the brink of starvation. They don’t know where their next meal is," Beasley said.

"If we are not very careful, we could truly, truly enter into the abyss in catastrophic conditions, worse than what we see now."

The U.N. World Health Organization, also part of the appeal, wants to shore up hundreds of health facilities at risk of closure after donors backed out.

Antonio Vitorino, head of the International Organization for Migration, said the Afghan medical system was "on the verge of collapse", and WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that gains made towards eradicating polio and vaccinating against COVID-19 could unravel.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned that there could "very soon" be far greater displacement than the estimated half a million who have already sought refuge elsewhere in Afghanistan this year.

"The physical distance between our nations and Afghanistan shouldn’t mislead us," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu added.

"A humanitarian and security crisis in Afghanistan will have direct implications across the globe. We should take collective action now."

Donors pledge $1.1 billion for 'collapsing' Afghanistan
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:55PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
As ussual, usa will give the most but get little in return. U.N should ask money from China.
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Sep 12, 2021 9:22PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Perhaps the UN should address the cause of such a crisis rather than pat the behinds of that evil regime.. That would good for a start.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email