“This conference fully meets my expectations of solidarity with the people of Afghanistan,” Guterres said. He could not say how much $1 billion in emergency aid the United Nations plans to provide in Afghanistan in the coming months.
Barely a month after the Taliban seized power in the country, Afghanistan is experiencing a humanitarian crisis that is getting worse. The country needs about 600 million dollars (510 million euros) by the end of this year, according to United Nations calculations. Guterres warned at the conference that many people could run out of food by the end of the month. He also said that it is necessary to enter into a dialogue with the Taliban. “It is impossible to provide humanitarian aid in Afghanistan without speaking to the de facto authorities in the country.”
The Netherlands is one of the countries that has pledged money to Afghanistan. On Monday, the Council of Ministers announced that it would allocate an additional 13.5 million euros for emergency aid. 3.5 million of this is earmarked to help Afghans who have fled to neighboring countries. About five million Afghans are sheltered there.
The United States has pledged $64 million in US aid money. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, made it clear at the conference that the money would only be made available if the Taliban respected the rights of women, minorities and aid organizations. “Humanitarian aid organizations cannot do their job if the Taliban do not adhere to these basic humanitarian obligations and principles,” said Thomas Greenfield.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas immediately pledged 100 million euros in emergency aid. He promised another 500 million euros to Afghanistan and the neighboring countries hosting Afghans. These funds will only be released if the Taliban meet requirements in areas such as human rights and the safety of aid workers. “We will not base our future attitude towards the Taliban government on their words, but much more on their actions,” Maas said.
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