UN Official Warns of Alarming Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned Tuesday of a deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and appealed to the international community for more help.

The UN’s humanitarian affairs operational director, John Ging, expressed these statements after his visit to Afghanistan in the wake of an attack on the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz earlier this month which left 22 people dead, including 12 MSF staff members.

He called for more humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan to address the urgent problem. His call came after thousands of families were reportedly displaced from the northern city of Kunduz – the first city Taliban has seized in the past 14 years following their ousting in 2001.

“Afghanistan faces a long and challenging road to peace, stability and development,” said Ging. “But after thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars invested, it is imperative that we do not give up now. We must renew our commitment to supporting the people of Afghanistan on their difficult road to recovery.”

According to the UN official, Afghanistan “has a lot of overlapping humanitarian challenges” and as so far this year, about 130,000 people have been displaced in the country due to the ongoing conflict.

Despite urgent humanitarian assistance needed, Ging said the funding for action is currently standing at $204 million USD, which is less than 50 percent of what is needed.

“The international community has a commitment and a responsibility to Afghanistan for the medium and longer term and issues and the challenges are not going to be overcome quickly and therefore we have to have the resolve to stay the course,” he briefed reporters after his recent visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He warned the continuous deterioration of the humanitarian situation will likely jeopardize international community’s investment of billions of dollars already made in Afghanistan.

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