New York: The United Nations has appealed to countries for a quick relase of the pledged USD 1.2 billion relief fund for Afghanistan to turn money into food, health care and protection for victims.
Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, said the pledges in humanitarian aid announced at a high-level conference in Geneva on Monday, include funding for the flash appeal for Afghanistan and regional response.
"We stressed that pledges now need to be disbursed quickly so that the UN and humanitarian partners, including national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), can move quickly to turn funds into food, health care and protection for Afghan children, women and men in need," Dujarric said.
The spokesperson said the UN and its partners continue to deliver aid to millions of people in need in Afghanistan. Several relief missions made it from Mazar-i-Sharif by road to Maimana and from Kabul to Jalalabad.
A convoy with aid from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reached Nangarhar, the spokesperson said. "This is the second convoy of relief items that have entered Afghanistan through the Torkham Border Crossing since Aug. 15." Seasonal food assistance from World Food Programme (WFP) continues with one month's worth of food for previously assessed vulnerable families, he said.
The spokesperson said that the WFP is also pre-positioning food and other stocks at strategic border points in Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in anticipation of high food needs and further disruptions to supply chains. A logistics hub is being set up in Termez, Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, WFP also stated that the return of humanitarian flights to Kabul since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is a turning point in the crisis.
More than 90% of families are struggling to find enough to eat, and with winter fast approaching, aid agencies have been "scrambling to meet massive needs before it is too late", said WFP spokesperson, Tomson Phiri, who was speaking in Geneva.
The WFP-led Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has completed three cargo flights since the reopening of the air link to Kabul on September 12, bringing in medical supplies on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The United Nations on Monday had convened a high-level ministerial event in Geneva on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan to highlight the acute needs in the country and underscore the urgent funding support and actions required by international partners to support the people of Afghanistan.
The international community has pledged over USD 1.2 billion as aid for the Afghanistan humanitarian crisis after UN agencies and non-governmental partners launched a flash appeal seeking USD 606 million for the remainder of the year to bring vital relief to 11 million people in the war-torn nation.