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Afghanistan

More than $1 billion in aid pledged for Afghanistan as country faces 'most perilous hour'


Story by Helen Regan

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Published on September 14, 2021 4:48 AM
 
 
More than $1 billion in aid has been pledged for Afghanistan to help ease one of the world's "worst humanitarian crises," as millions of people in the country could soon run out of food and the economy is on the verge of collapse, the United Nations said on Monday.

Speaking at a high-level ministers meeting on the crisis in Geneva, UN Secretary General António Guterres said poverty rates in Afghanistan had spiraled since the Taliban's takeover last month, with one in three people not knowing where their next meal was coming from and basic public services not functioning.

"The people of Afghanistan need a lifeline. After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour," Guterres said.

The UN had made an emergency appeal for $606 million to meet the most pressing needs in the country, a request that had been "fully met," Guterres said during a news conference.

"Today, we already have clearly more than $ 1 billion of pledges. It is impossible to say how much of these will be for the flash appeal, but in any case, it represents a quantum leap in relation to the financial commitment of the international community towards the Afghan people," he said. Even before the Taliban's return to power, protracted conflict, poverty, back-to-back droughts, economic decline and the coronavirus pandemic had worsened an already dire situation in which 18 million Afghans -- almost half of the population -- were in need of ...