As US departs from war-ravaged Afghanistan, UN commits to humanitarian aid

New York [US]: As the US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, UN chief Antonio Guterres said that the flights evacuating civilians from the trouble-torn country may have come to an end, but a deepening humanitarian crisis remains.
This comes as several senior UN officials restated their commitment to stay and deliver urgently needed supplies to millions in the country who need humanitarian aid to survive. Secretary-General Guterres, in a statement on Tuesday, expressed his deep concern about the humanitarian and economic crisis in the country and the threat of a total collapse in basic services. “Now more than ever”, said Guterres, “Afghan children, women and men need the support and solidarity of the international community”.
The US completed the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, ending one of its longest wars. In a matter of few weeks, US and Coalition forces evacuated more than 123,000 civilians out of Afghanistan and slightly more than 6,000 of them were US citizens.
Afghanistan is coping with a severe drought, and its citizens will have to face harsh winter conditions, underlining the need for supplies to be urgently sent to the country, said Guterres.
Meanwhile, the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) said that operations were continuing and that the UN had already helped eight million people this year alone. OCHA warned that the USD 1.3 billion funding requirement had not been met and that there was a lack of supplies in the now Taliban-controlled nation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also warned that despite Monday’s air delivery of 12.5 metric tonnes of medical supplies that will cover the basic health needs of more than 200,000 people, it was still “not enough”.
WHO spokesperson Dr Margaret Harris said that although the UN health agency was planning two more supply flights this week, it wanted “continual flights” to restore basic services.
The head of UN Women, Pramila Patten, called on the Taliban to include women in whatever form of government it eventually decides upon, in a statement released on Tuesday, UN News reported. Patten referred to a commitment, made by a spokesperson of Afghanistan’s de facto rulers, to uphold women’s rights “within the framework of Islam”.

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