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World News

Billion dollar UN Afghan aid pledge welcomed by Christian charity

by Donna Birrell

UN member states have pledged to deliver over a billion dollars for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan as the country adjusts to life under the Taliban regime.

Speaking at a UN conference earlier this week, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres  said after decades of war, Afghans were facing ‘perhaps their most perilous hour.’  

"The people of Afghanistan are facing the collapse of an entire country — all at once."

The UN appealed to member states for $606 million in aid but that request was exceeded with $1.2 billion pledged.

“Today, we have clearly more than 1 billion of pledges,” said Guterres. “It is impossible to say how much of these will be for the flash appeal, but in any case, it represents a quantum leap in relation to the financial commitment of the international community towards the Afghan people.”

The charity, International Christian Concern welcomed the news, but said the situation for people in Afghanistan remains bleak and full of extraordinary challenges and it’s urged the international community to act. It says food is running short, the economy is collapsing, and the prices of commodities like cooking oil are surging. 

Matias Perttula is Director of Advocacy for ICC :

“If the trend continues in this direction, it’s a sign for the country’s religious minorities, including Christians, of the severe hardships that they will face under the Taliban’s extremist policies and discriminatory tactics. The international community needs to stand with the people of Afghanistan, and not just by delivering humanitarian aid, but by actively promoting human rights and pressuring the Taliban to secure fundamental freedoms for all Afghans.”

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