Ahead of a UN high-level Ministerial meeting on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, slated to take place on 13 September in Geneva, Mercy Corps calls for unequivocal international support, including increased funding and a coordinated plan to enable aid organizations to resume delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance.
Mercy Corps Regional Director for Asia, Alan Glasgow, says:
“The needs of 18.4 million Afghans reliant on humanitarian assistance are growing increasingly urgent as the majority of aid programs remain paused and organizations continue trying to navigate immense operational challenges and uncertainty.
“Food insecurity was already of paramount concern with prices of essential food items increasing and further price hikes, cash shortages and inflation all but guaranteed. With no cash in people's pockets due to unpaid salaries, bank closures and suspended remittances, we are staring at a catastrophic situation in the coming months. Winter looms with likely harsh temperatures, and many displaced people are living out in the open without access to heat sources. We also face unpredictable planting and harvests during the upcoming winter wheat season in the midst of drought.
“At this moment the international community must recommit to Afghanistan and deliver the funding required to scale up essential services to meet rising needs, including more than $600M the United Nations announced is needed to respond to the crisis through the end of the year. We need unequivocal support from all parties inside and outside Afghanistan for international and Afghan aid organizations to remain and deliver impartial assistance, and assurances from all parties, including the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and donor governments, that we can work safely and legally. We are at a major humanitarian tipping point and the lives and future of millions of Afghans hang in the balance until wide scale assistance can resume.”
*Since 1986, Mercy Corps has been working to improve the quality of life for Afghans and support conflict-affected communities. Last year, we reached over 370,000 people across the country, creating jobs and providing access to energy and clean water. *