Afghanistan faces humanitarian crisis

Monday, 2021-09-27 10:32:19
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Afghanistan is at risk of “imminent hunger” with winter approaching and services disrupted. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
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NDO – Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Natalia Kanem, has warned that Afghanistan is at risk of “imminent hunger” with winter approaching and services disrupted. Meanwhile, the country’s health system is in danger of collapse and international aid efforts are currently like “a drop in the ocean”.

In an interview with AFP news agency on September 25, Executive Director Natalia Kanem said that at least a third of Afghanistan’s total population of 33 million people are facing hunger. In particular, the victims most affected by the famine will be women and girls. Along with famine, the country is also facing the risk of a health system collapse.

According to Luo Dapeng, a representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of people in the most vulnerable groups in Afghanistan are almost entirely unable to access health care due to the overloaded system.

Afghanistan is a poor country and always faces humanitarian disasters. The situation has worsened after recent political developments have put many international donors in a “dilemma” and many humanitarian aid activities have been disrupted. Meanwhile, billions of dollars of the Central Bank of Afghanistan abroad are frozen.

Facing the above situation, Luo Dapeng has called on the international community to continue funding the country's health programme, which was stopped when the Taliban took power. The US has just decided to authorise some transactions with the Taliban to pave the way for aid to reach Afghanistan.

The United Nations also announced that it will deduct US$45 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help Afghanistan amid the shortage of medicine, medical supplies and fuel. The European Union (EU) is also committed to increasing aid and will stand with the people of this South Asian country. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that in the short term the EU will provide additional humanitarian aid of EUR100 million for the people of Afghanistan.

The reality of such shortages shows that Afghanistan is facing a literal and figurative cold winter as there is a shortage of medicine, food and other necessities, while aid is released in drips. To avoid a humanitarian crisis for Afghanistan over the next winter, sanctions should be considered to be lifted and humanitarian organisations should be facilitated to deliver goods to the millions of Afghans in distress.

MINH TRUNG/Translated by NDO