Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN chief urges donors to provide desperately needed aid for Afghans



UN chief urges donors to provide desperately needed aid for Afghans

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A Taliban fighter stands guard as a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane, the first commercial international flight to land since the militants retook power last month, takes off from Kabul airport to return to Islamabad. AFP

UN chief urges donors to provide desperately needed aid for Afghans

UN chief Antonio Guterres on September 13 urged the international community to engage with the Taliban and to provide a “lifeline” of desperately needed aid to Afghans, as the first foreign commercial flight left Kabul – a hopeful sign for those still trying to leave the country.

Guterres was in Geneva, Switzerland to host a donor conference aimed at raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the violence-torn country, which was taken over by the Taliban last month in a lightning offensive that took retreating US troops by surprise.

In all, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said donor countries pledged a total of $1.2 billion in aid, but did not say how much had been earmarked for the UN’s flash appeal for $600 million to fund emergency assistance for the rest of this year.

The flash appeal was launched amid fears that malnutrition is looming for many, and perhaps even starvation, with mass displacement in the country and winter fast approaching.

Guterres said he believed aid could be used as leverage with the Islamist extremists to exact improvements on human rights, amid fears of a return to the brutal rule that characterised the first Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001.

“It is impossible to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan without engaging with the de facto authorities,” the UN secretary-general told ministers attending the Geneva talks.

“It is very important to engage with the Taliban at the present moment.”

Guterres urged nations to “find ways to allow for an injection of cash in the Afghan economy” in order to avert an outright collapse that would have “devastating consequences” for Afghanistan and the wider region.

“I don’t think that if the de facto authorities of a country misbehave, the solution is to do a collective punishment to their people,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa