By: Shukria Kohistani
The Afghan government on Sunday launched the Joint Humanitarian Appeal with the United Nations to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan caused by escalated war and drought. According to officials, 18.4 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian assistance.
“The appeal is to humanity to show that we can save people from hunger by working together,” said Khalid Payenda, acting minister of finance.
The UN and the Afghan government have both warned the country is facing a humanitarian crisis due to the ongoing war and drought.
Addressing a joint press conference on Sunday, UN officials in Afghanistan said that more than a third part of all Afghans are facing food insecurity and a lack of water.
“More than one third of Afghans faced food insecurity and lack of water in 2021. Intensified war and insecurity increases demand for humanitarian needs,” said Ramiz Alakbarov, Deputy Special Representative and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for UNAMA.
In a joint assessment, UNAMA and government found that more than 18 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian aid. In addition to this, UNAMA and government found that at least half of all Afghan children under five are at risk of malnutrition.
UNAMA said that $1.3 million is needed for humanitarian aid for the current year. Afghan officials in turn said more help is needed.
“There is a need for a joint humanitarian appeal, as has been made by the Afghan government and the United Nations today so that a humanitarian crisis is prevented,” Payenda said.
This comes as Afghanistan is fighting an intensified war across large parts of the country and dealing with a drought while also battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mohammad Azim a resident of Kabul said, as far as there is war in the country, to that extent, the Afghans will suffer, adding that while in peace and security, people can work and poverty would gradually reduce.
Economists believe that despite of continued aids of donor community to Afghanistan in the last 20 years no substantial change appeared in the people living conditions due to mismanagement of those aids.
The world community had provided good opportunity in the last 20 years to the people and Afghan government, but it was not properly exploited. At present medical, economic, education and cultural sectors need more aids.
Experts add that foreign donors spent most of these assistance in protocol sections, salaries of employees, house rents, purchasing of luxury cars, instead to invest them in basic projects including employment opportunities, establishment of factories, water and energy generation, agriculture, livestock and creation of new capacities.
Experts requested Ministry of Finance and the UN who have responsibilities of aids attraction, to focus further attention in abovementioned sectors.
At the same time, the Afghan government has requested the world countries to help US $200-250m aids for implementation of humanitarian programs.