UN Appeals for Over $5 Billion in Humanitarian Aid for Afghanistan
The United Nations announced its biggest-ever single-country humanitarian funding appeal on Tuesday, calling for over $5 billion for Afghanistan to provide basic services to 22 million Afghans in need of assistance inside the country, and another 5.7 million Afghan refugees who are currently outside of the country. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said in Geneva that $4.4 billion is needed for the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan, while UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi called for $623 million for the Afghanistan Situation Regional Refugee Response Plan, to support refugees and host communities in five neighboring countries. Griffiths called the appeal “an absolutely essential stop-gap measure” and said that if the funds are not raised “there won’t be a future … there will be suffering.” If action is not taken this year, the officials said, “next year we’ll be asking for $10 billion.” They said the money would not go to line the Taliban’s coffers. The country has fallen into a severe financial crisis since the Taliban took over the country after the United States and allied troops pulled their soldiers out in mid-August. The United States has frozen the country’s assets and humanitarian aid.