23 million people in Afghanistan are facing acute hunger, says Norwegian Refugee Council

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on Thursday said that 23 million people in Afghanistan are facing acute hunger and called for the removal of economic bottlenecks that prevent the circulation of money into and within Afghanistan.


ANI | Kabul | Updated: 27-01-2022 16:00 IST | Created: 27-01-2022 16:00 IST
23 million people in Afghanistan are facing acute hunger, says Norwegian Refugee Council
Representative Image. (Photo Credit - Reuters). Image Credit: ANI
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The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on Thursday said that 23 million people in Afghanistan are facing acute hunger and called for the removal of economic bottlenecks that prevent the circulation of money into and within Afghanistan. The NRC report said that the economic measures imposed on Afghanistan are preventing aid agencies from moving funds into and within the country, blocking emergency relief, reported Tolo News.

According to the report, it is impossible for the humanitarian organizations to help millions of in-need people with humanitarian assistance unless the US Department of Treasury and other donor agencies take actions towards enabling the banks to facilitate humanitarian financial transfers and support Afghanistan's central bank to resume its core functions. "The unresolved liquidity crisis is a key driver in what is becoming the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world. We recently called for USD 4.4 billion for starving Afghans - the biggest call of its kind in the history of humanitarian work. But unless the US Treasury and other Western financial authorities enable us to transfer the aid money, we will be forced to work with our hands tied, unable to get that money to the communities that desperately need it," warned Jan Egeland, NRC's Secretary-General, reported Tolo News.

The report further stated that while the licences issued by the US Department of Treasury and the exemption of sanctions by the UN on humanitarian assistance are good steps for supporting the people of Afghanistan but are not enough. "Millions of Afghans will suffer unimaginable consequences unless the Afghan central bank is provided with sufficient support to resume its key functions, including the purchase and circulation of banknotes, with appropriate safeguards in place. Unless this happens, we will struggle to respond to this crisis and the country's economy will continue to skydive," said Egeland.

NRC has urged the US and European governments to support banks in allowing transfer of money into Afghanistan and also the aid agencies to withdraw those funds once reached in Afghanistan, reported Tolo News. NRC's report comes amid the UN and some other international humanitarian agencies have also warned of a humanitarian crisis in the country.

The UN also on Wednesday said it has launched its One-UN Transitional Engagement Framework (TEF) to assist the people of Afghanistan in 2022 through sustaining essential services and preserving essential community systems. "This UN system-wide strategy will help ensure that Afghans can meet their basic human needs; acting on this now is more important than ever to avoid that an even wider proportion of the population requires lifesaving humanitarian assistance. It's especially important now as millions are suffering from the harsh winter months, and we thank the international community for stepping up their vital support to the Afghan population," said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan Dr Ramiz Alakbarov.

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated drastically since the Taliban took control of Kabul. A combination of a suspension of foreign aid, the freezing of Afghan government assets, and international sanctions on the Taliban have plunged the country, already suffering from high poverty levels, into a full-blown economic crisis. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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