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Caritas international calls for urgent humanitarian action in Afghanistan to end the suffering of the population

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Afghanistan
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Caritas
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BY MARTA PETROSILLO

Afghanistan is undergoing the worst humanitarian crisis of our days. Two decades of protracted war and violence, the impact of climate change and the effect of Covid-19 compounded by today’s political turmoil and chaos has rendered the Afghan population into one of the worst humanitarian situations leading to a major humanitarian crisis. Today, millions of lives are endangered, and their mere survival is at stake. Children and the elderly are starving, and some are already dying of hunger.

In 2021 the violence intensified and spread throughout the country, putting on the road to forced displacement of around 650 000 Afghans living in camps or outside their hometowns. The impact of the conflict on women and girls has been particularly devastating – 80 per cent of all forcibly displaced within Afghanistan are women and children.

The present political and social chaos that reigns in Afghanistan has plummeted the society into dire poverty conditions. With rampant unemployment, skyrocketing food prices, and the approach of winter, the population risk facing famine due to the lack of food reserves. More than half of the population is already facing food insecurity and, unless appropriate and adequate actions are taken, the situation will worsen. More than a million children are at risk of dying.

Afghans are being plunged deeper into poverty, and as the harsh winter season approaches, there’s even more of a terrifying risk to the lives of millions of Afghans. Without taking action now, there is a real risk of famine in the next year.

Caritas Internationalis is ensuring humanitarian support to the Afghan population and is highly concerned about the present situation, especially for the innocent children whose lives are in danger.

The confederation of 162 Caritas member organisations supports the demand for an exception for humanitarian action in the 1988 sanctions regime, up for a vote in the Security Council today. This is desperately needed to bring lifesaving aid to the population.

Caritas Internationalis also calls on the decisions makers to take all necessary measures to ensure humanitarian access to the population in need, access that cannot be obtained unless all the Security Council members speak with one voice in supporting the humanitarian needs by voting for this exception.

Failure to pass this carve-out will cause unimaginable human suffering to the most vulnerable. We cannot deliver a full humanitarian response without it. Urgent action is needed to save lives.