18m Afghans directly need humanitarian assistance, Pakistan tells UN

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday welcomed the United Nations’ efforts for the much-needed humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, saying the situation was getting “dire” for around 18 million Afghans who were directly in need of humanitarian assistance.

The UN has urged the world to raise $606 million for Afghanistan, which is home to roughly 38 million people. Poverty and hunger are spiraling as foreign aid has dried up amid Western distrust of the Taliban, who took over the country on August 15.

After decades of war and suffering, Afghans are facing “perhaps their most perilous hour,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his opening remarks to a conference in Geneva on Monday, seeking aid for Afghanistan.

Pakistan shares the concern and has warned that a sluggish response from the international community could cause grave humanitarian consequences in the war-battered country.