UN to ask $8bn from donors for Afghan crisis

Kabul, Jan 20 (IANS) Deborah Lyons, the UN’s top envoy in Afghanistan, announced that the world body will ask $8 billion from donors as aid to help the war-torn nation amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis, the media reported.

Addressing an international gathering at the Presidential Palace, Arg, here on Wednesday, Lyons said that transfer of cash to Afghanistan would continue until the banking system is revived in the country, TOLO News repored.

“We secured the permission to import cash to address the crippling lack of liquidity, assisted by your administration in doing so. We imported in December, last month of last year, over 120 million dollars and this month another 32 million,” she said.

The international gathering at the Arg was the first since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August 2021.

Representatives of 20 countries attended the event, some via videoconference.

The UN special envoy further said that some achievements of the past two decades have been violated and that over half of the country’s population is living under the poverty line.

She said that the UN is attempting to remove existing sanctions on Afghanistan.

Also addressing the summit, Taliban Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund said that short term aid is not enough to tackle the crisis, and he called for the removal of obstacles in the way of economic recovery, reports TOLO News.

“A mutual path should be formed to meet the problems of people on time, and forever. The short term aid is not sufficiently beneficial for the nation,” he said.

Taliban cabinet members praised the UN support for Afghanistan.

The Second Deputy of the Prime Minister, Abdul Salam Hanafi, said that they would monitor the distribution of aid to vulnerable people.

“The political conditions of the donors are not acceptable. We never want economical reliance, which brings crisis, we never want to be in the circle of political conditions of donors. We will never sacrifice economic independence.”

Acting Finance Minister Hedayatullah Badri said the Taliban government has made a plan to tackle the economic crisis, adding that the “humanitarian aid is not sufficient and there is a need for development aid”.

–IANS

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