U.N. Seeks Huge Aid Increase to Prevent ‘Catastrophe’ in Afghanistan


GENEVA — The United Nations made what it described Tuesday as its greatest attraction ever for a single nation, asking worldwide donors to give greater than $5 billion to Afghanistan to fend off a humanitarian catastrophe.

Five months after the Taliban seized energy, a extreme drought and the cumulative toll of many years of warfare have left greater than half the nation’s inhabitants needing humanitarian support and plunged three-quarters of its 40 million individuals into acute poverty, the United Nations mentioned.

“A full-blown humanitarian catastrophe looms,” Martin Griffiths, the U.N.’s emergency support coordinator, mentioned in an announcement. “My message is urgent: Don’t shut the door on the people of Afghanistan.”

Without worldwide support, 1,000,000 Afghan youngsters face acute starvation and one other eight million individuals face “a march to starvation, and ultimately even possible famine,” Mr. Griffiths informed reporters.

The attraction included $4.4 billion for humanitarian reduction inside Afghanistan, half of it for meals in a rustic the place greater than 700,000 individuals had been compelled from their houses by preventing final 12 months, including to the practically 3 million individuals already displaced by warfare.

The United Nations sought one other $623 million to address round 2.5 million refugees in neighboring nations, primarily Iran and Pakistan.

Iran has mentioned that a couple of half million Afghans had fled there because the Taliban takeover. Filippo Grandi, the pinnacle of the U.N. refugee company, didn’t affirm that determine, however underscored the hazard of additional large flows of refugees if the worldwide neighborhood failed to stabilize situations in Afghanistan.

The United Nations raised a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} for Afghanistan in September after the Taliban takeover. The new attraction will check donors’ willingness to assist a rustic that has carried out abstract executions, severely curtailed the rights of girls and suppressed impartial media shops.

Mr. Griffiths burdened the help would assist “direct delivery” help to humanitarian businesses and pledged that the cash wouldn’t leak to Taliban-controlled businesses.

The atmosphere for worldwide support businesses is extra favorable than in 2021, he mentioned. The finish of the preventing has improved safety on the bottom, and a call by the U.N. Security Council final month to exempt humanitarian support from monetary sanctions facilitated support deliveries and safety on the bottom.

“The plan can work — the capacity of the agencies to make it happen is there,” Mr. Griffiths mentioned. “The money needed is needed fast.”

But humanitarian support was solely “a stopgap measure,” Mr. Griffiths mentioned, including that far-reaching efforts are wanted to revive the banking system, restore companies and stabilize an economic system that has collapsed below worldwide sanctions and the freezing of Afghanistan’s worldwide reserves.

Tuesday’s attraction was for thrice the quantity of help the United Nations requested in 2021, Mr. Griffiths famous. But if the worldwide donors don’t reply and deal with Afghanistan’s financial disaster now, he added, the U.N. can be compelled to request considerably extra support in a 12 months.

“These appeals can provide some kind of hope that that region will no longer have the blight that it’s been suffering for 40 years, 40 years of insecurity,” Mr. Griffiths mentioned. “It’s got to stop.”