Member of European Parliament calls for urgent assistance in Afghanistan to avoid humanitarian catastrophe

BRUSSELS. KAZINFORM. Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Afghanistan Petras Auštrevičius issued statement regarding humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, special correspondent of Kazinform in EU reports.

In his statement Petras Auštrevičius emphasized that support is needed for the basic needs of the population in Afghanistan as well as in neighbouring Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan.

After the exchange of views with representatives of European institutions and several humanitarian organizations, such as World Food Programme, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and the Afghan organisation CAHPO, the chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Afghanistan Petras Auštrevičius issued the following statement:

«Yesterday, our guest speakers painted the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the bleakest possible colours. Afghanistan is at the brink of a human, political and economic catastrophe. In view of the food insecurity all over the country and the soon arriving winter, it is essential to ensure support for the basic needs of the population in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, notably Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan. There is now an urgent need for a common humanitarian action coordinated between the EU and its Member States. The dimension of the need requires further coordination with other actors such as the UN and partner countries. It is obvious that humanitarian aid should be delivered through organisations not linked to the Taliban regime».

«I explicitly welcome in this context the announcement of an «Afghan Support Package» of 1 billion EUR by Commission President von der Leyen at the G20 summit on 12 October. It should be clear that the required engagement with the Taliban regime does not mean its recognition. Any further engagement must be condition-based, notably on the respect for human rights especially for women, children and minorities,» the Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Afghanistan stressed.

According to the World Food Programme, 14 million people – or 1-in-3 Afghans - face severe hunger – with this number expected to rise substantially as winter sets in. 2 million children are at risk of acute malnutrition.

95% of households in Afghanistan today are struggling to feed themselves. 60%-80% of households are reporting significant decreases in income. In many urban areas, people struggle to find even one day of work per week .

The price of food is skyrocketing: wheat prices are up 45% year on year, cooking oil is up 300%.

Article by Kazinform correspondent in EU Arnur Rakhymbekov

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