‘No way out’ for imperilled Afghans, broader international response needed 

2 months ago 20
PR Distribution

UNHCR remains acrophobic astir the hazard of quality rights violations against civilians successful this evolving context, including for women and girls”, said spokesperson Shabia Mantoo from the UN exile agency.  

As of today, those who whitethorn beryllium successful information person nary mode out. UNHCR is calling connected countries neighbouring Afghanistan to support their borders unfastened successful airy of the evolving situation successful Afghanistan.” 

#Afghanistan, 18-19 August 2021.

General nutrient organisation successful #Faizabad.

Despite information and logistics challenges, WFP maintains entree to astir of the country. Our utmost precedence is to proceed to enactment those who number connected america for nutrient assistance during these trying times. pic.twitter.com/Zj7u0RmXWt

— World Food Programme (@WFP) August 20, 2021

Highlighting video footage taken earlier this week showing crowds outside Kabul airport and men clinging successful desperation to departing airplanes on the runway, the UNHCR official warned that the Afghans who could not get away should not beryllium forgotten. 

Humanitarian priorities 

Addressing questions astir humanitarian assistance entree constraints, the UNHCR authoritative explained that around 200 nationalist and international staff “remain connected the ground” in Afghanistan, wherever they work with 18 section non-government partners employing around 900 unit passim the country. 

“At present, we are capable to entree each provinces, and are moving successful immoderate two-thirds of each districts”, Ms. Mantoo said.  “Together with the wider UN state team, we are committed to staying and delivering assistance to the Afghan radical for arsenic agelong arsenic we person access to populations successful request and tin guarantee information for our staff.” 

The UNHCR authoritative added that the bureau was not progressive successful State-led evacuation operations, which though welcome, did not code the plight of galore millions of Afghans. 

“These evacuations are lifesaving, they’re critical, they’re needed”, said Ms. Mantoo. “But they are bilateral programmes organized with the States truthful we promote those, they should continue. But the main connection is that a broader international response is needed.” 

Vital assistance getting through 

Since the opening of this year, UNHCR has provided exigency assistance to 230,000 people in the country, including cash assistance, hygiene enactment and different alleviation items.  

Needs assessments are also ongoing for immoderate fractional a cardinal displaced Afghans, 80 per cent of whom are women and children

With 550,000 radical displaced wrong Afghanistan this twelvemonth and millions much anterior to the chaos linked to the Taliban takeover, UNHCR issued an urgent entreaty for $62.8 million to woody with contiguous needs. Overall requirements for the Afghanistan situation are $351 million, with backing levels presently at 43 per cent. 

Security challenge 

In a connection connected Friday, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that contempt information and logistics challenges, the bureau “maintains entree to astir of the state including areas experiencing progressive fighting”.  

In the archetypal six months of the year, WFP delivered nutrient and nutrition assistance to 5.5 cardinal people, including the newly displaced . 

A UNICEF-supported community-based schoolhouse  successful  Jalalabad, the superior  of Afghanistan's eastbound   Nangarhar province, earlier  the Taliban seized power  of the country. (file)

UNAMA/Shafiqullah Waak

A UNICEF-supported community-based schoolhouse successful Jalalabad, the superior of Afghanistan's eastbound Nangarhar province, earlier the Taliban seized power of the country. (file)

Healthcare protection 

Echoing the connection of solidarity, UN wellness bureau spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic stressed that the World Health Organization (WHO) was “committed to staying successful Afghanistan and delivering captious wellness services. We’re calling each parties to respect and support civilians, wellness workers, patients and wellness facilities”. 

The WHO official noted that astatine the commencement of 2021, half the colonisation of Afghanistan – including much than four million women and astir 10 cardinal children – already needed humanitarian assistance.  

“One-third of the colonisation was facing situation and exigency levels of acute nutrient insecurity and much than fractional of each children under five years of property were malnourished, he said, adding that the current severe drought “is expected to elevate those figures”. 

Most large wellness facilities are still functioning, the WHO spokesperson continued, and wellness workers had been called “to instrumentality to, oregon to stay successful their posts, including pistillate wellness staff”. 

Environmental threats 

Apart from chronic insecurity, some 250,000 Afghans are affected by biology disasters including floods, droughts, avalanches, landslides and earthquakes.  

“The interaction of disasters and dependency connected h2o from rainfall oregon snowmelt severely bounds the productivity of the cultivation sector, which provides a root of income for 44 per cent of the population”, said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, WFP's Country Director.  

Free property call 

In a related development, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay called for the safety of journalists in the country.  

“Access to reliable accusation and unfastened nationalist debate, facilitated by escaped and autarkic media, is important for Afghans to execute the peaceful aboriginal they deserve,” she said. “No-one should beryllium acrophobic to accidental what they deliberation astatine this captious juncture, and the information of each journalists, including women, indispensable particularly beryllium guaranteed.” 

At slightest 7 journalists – four of them women – have been killed truthful acold this year, according to UNESCO data. 

Over the past 20 years, the agency has developed community media, promoted gender-sensitive reporting and reinforced educational broadcasting.  

Most recently, it supported fact-checking networks and media outlets to verify and study connected the COVID-19 crisis. 

Journalists and archetypal  responders caught successful  a downtown Kabul termination   attack. (file)

Reuters/Omar Sobhani

Journalists and archetypal responders caught successful a downtown Kabul termination attack. (file)

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