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1 million Afghan youngsters are susceptible to hunger, UNICEF director warns

Afghan youngsters, who salvage recyclable gadgets from rubbish to make a residing, eat a meal of rice in Jalalabad on June 30, 2013.

Noorullah Shirzada | AFP | Getty Photos

WASHINGTON — Not less than 1 million youngsters in Afghanistan will undergo from extreme acute malnutrition this 12 months and will die with out correct remedy, UNICEF government director Henrietta Fore warned Monday.

“Practically 10 million ladies and boys depend upon humanitarian help simply to outlive,” Henrietta Fore said at a United Nations’ ministerial-level assembly on the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Afghanistan.

Fore implored the worldwide group and rich nations to assist avert additional struggling after Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed authorities collapsed virtually in a single day final month and Taliban militants took management of the nation.

“Please assist us,” she mentioned. Fore’s remarks come at a pivotal time within the historical past of worldwide support to Afghanistan.

For the reason that Taliban takeover Aug. 15, most developed nations within the West have frozen their direct support to Afghanistan, cautious of delivering cash to a militant Islamist regime that dominated the nation with brutal power from 1996 to 2001.

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Western international locations see the frozen support cash to Afghanistan as a key leverage level as they try to stress the Taliban to determine a authorities that respects particular person rights, particularly the rights of girls and ladies.

Within the meantime, teams like UNICEF are getting a re-examination from Western governments in search of methods to ship support to Afghanistan’s neediest residents whereas bypassing the Taliban authorities.

On Monday, the United States announced an additional $64 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, which might be delivered via teams just like the World Well being Group and the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees.

“Practically 600,000 folks, greater than half of whom are youngsters, have been displaced by battle this 12 months” in Afghanistan, Fore mentioned.

Fore additionally emphasised UNICEF’s distinctive skill to function in one of many poorest and most struggle torn international locations on the planet.

“UNICEF has been on the bottom in Afghanistan for greater than 70 years,” she mentioned, “We all know what must be finished for kids. And we will get it finished.”

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the U.S. army withdrawal final month prompted many worldwide support staff to depart the nation, fearing for his or her security.

However UNICEF stayed and received issues finished, Fore mentioned.

“Within the final two weeks, we’ve got supplied 170,000 folks affected by drought with secure ingesting water and deployed cell well being groups in 14 provinces to proceed delivering primary well being companies for kids and ladies,” she mentioned.

“Over the last week of August, UNICEF supplied 4,000 severely malnourished youngsters beneath 5 with life-saving therapeutic remedy, and street missions have begun.”

It stays to be seen whether or not the newly minted Taliban authorities will allow worldwide support teams like UNICEF to function safely within the nation.

However Fore insisted that life-saving support, particularly for kids, have to be seen exterior the political boundaries that divide governments and nation states.

“We have to guarantee support is just not politicized – prioritization of funding selections needs to be primarily based on wants first. We should search for methods to ship well timed and sustained help at scale,” she mentioned.

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