UN Thanks Pakistan for Cooperation in Relief Work in Afghanistan

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has thanked Pakistan and other countries for their support in the ongoing relief efforts in Afghanistan.

During a briefing at UN headquarters in New York, Stephen Dujarric, a spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said UN operations in Afghanistan, a major humanitarian crisis, were continuing, according to the state-run news agency APP.

“Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is very grateful for the charitable assistance and cooperation of member countries, including Pakistan, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, as they have provided facilities and arrangements there,” he said. 

The spokesman further said that these countries have made significant contributions to the security and operational remittances and the overall continuity of UN activities as promised.

He said UN human rights officials in Afghanistan had warned that the war-torn country was facing food insecurity and a food crisis.

Stephen Dujarric said one-third of Afghanistan’s population, more than 12 million Afghans, suffer from severe food insecurity and that the drought is likely to worsen their situation.

“We are working with our humanitarian partners to address the effects of water availability, crop production, agricultural labor opportunities, as well as cheaper food supplies and reduced rainfall,” he said.

The United Nations has provided food and livelihoods to more than 5.5m people, many of whom are from drought-stricken areas in dire need, he stated.

The spokesman went on to say that Afghanistan needs $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid in 2021 to help more than 18 million people, but only 40 percent of the funds had been allocated.

The United Nations has also decided to convene an international aid conference in Geneva on September 13 to address the challenges of a possible “humanitarian crisis” in light of the political developments in Afghanistan.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Twitter that the conference would help prevent the “impending humanitarian catastrophe”.

“We need the international community to stand together and offer their support,” he said while announcing the conference.

“We also call for full and uninterrupted access to humanitarian assistance to ensure that Afghans continue to receive the services they need,” he said. 

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