UN chief to hold humanitarian conference for Afghanistan today

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (File Photo)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (File Photo)

New York [US], September 13 (ANI): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set to convene a high-level humanitarian conference for Afghanistan on Monday in response to the growing humanitarian needs in the country.

This meeting comes at a crucial juncture when levels of acute malnutrition are above emergency thresholds in 27 of 34 provinces. "Almost 1/2 of children under 5 and 1/4 of pregnant and breastfeeding women need life-saving nutritional support over the next 12 months," the World Food Programme tweeted.

Earlier, Guterres had said that Afghan children, women and men need support and solidarity from the international community.

"Now more than ever, Afghan children, women and men need support and solidarity from the international community. I will convene a high-level humanitarian conference for Afghanistan on 13 September to advocate for a swift scale-up in funding & full, unimpeded access to those in need," Guterres had tweeted.

Last Friday, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric informed that Guterres will travel next week to Geneva, Switzerland, to hold a ministerial meeting in response to the growing humanitarian needs in Afghanistan.

"As the United Nations continues to stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the Secretary-General will travel to Geneva to convene on September 13 a high-level ministerial humanitarian meeting to address the growing needs in the country," Sputnik quoted Dujarric as saying.

The spokesperson also said the conference will advocate for a swift "scale-up in funding so the lifesaving humanitarian operation can continue; and appeal for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need."

On a previous occasion, Guterres had expressed his deep concern about the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan and the threat of a total collapse in basic services.

The situation in Afghanistan has been deteriorating after the Taliban seized control of the war-ravaged country. On August 15, the Afghan government fell soon after President Ashraf Ghani left the country. (ANI)

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