UN chief warns millions of Afghans are on the verge of death

The head of the United Nations (UN) warned that millions of Afghans are “on the verge of death”, urging the international community to fund the UN’s $5 billion humanitarian appeal, release Afghanistan’s frozen assets and jump-start its banking system to prevent the economic and social collapse.

The secretary general Antonio Guterres told reporters Thursday that “subzero temperatures and frozen assets are a lethal combination for the people of Afghanistan” and that “rules and conditions that prevent money from being used to save lives and the economy must be suspended in this emergency”. situation.”

As we mentioned in AmericanPost.News, Afghanistan’s aid-dependent economy was already reeling when the Taliban seized power in mid-August amid the chaotic departure of US and NATO troops after 20 years.

The international community froze Afghanistan’s assets abroad and stopped financial support, unwilling to work with the Taliban, given their reputation for brutality during their 1996-2001 rule and their refusal to educate girls and allow women to they will work

More than 8 million Afghans are on the brink of starvation.

The UN has said 8.7 million Afghans are on the brink of starvation, and Guterres said it was critical to rapidly inject liquidity into Afghanistan’s economy “and avoid a collapse that would drive millions into poverty, hunger and destitution.” .

It is “absolutely essential” to avoid a collapse, he stressed, “because with the current situation you have Afghans on the brink of death.”

The secretary-general said the United States has “a very important role to play because most of the world’s financial system operates in dollars” and has frozen $7 billion in Afghan foreign exchange reserves, mostly in the United States.

UN chief calls for an injection to the Afghan economy

UN chief asks for an injection to the Afghan economy.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths and Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, are scheduled to hold a virtual meeting on Friday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Guterres said that one of the reasons for the meeting is to try to create “mechanisms that allow an effective injection of funds into the Afghan economy and, at the same time, create the conditions for the Afghan financial system to operate locally.” . badge”.

The UN chief said international funding must be allowed to pay the salaries of doctors, health workers, electrical engineers and other civil servants, as well as help Afghan institutions provide health care, education and other key services.

Last month, the World Bank transferred $280 million from a reconstruction trust fund it manages for Afghanistan to the UN children’s agency UNICEF and the World Food Program for their operations in the country, Guterres said.

“I hope that the remaining resources, more than $1.2 billion, will be available to help the people of Afghanistan get through the winter,” he said.

Calling on the international community to support the Afghan people, Guterres said he was making an equally urgent call on Taliban leaders “to recognize and protect fundamental human rights, and in particular the rights of women and girls.” and to build government institutions in which all Afghans feel represented.

“Across Afghanistan, women and girls are missing from offices and classrooms,” Guterres said. “No country can prosper by denying the rights of half its population.”

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