Prime Minister Imran orders ‘cooperation with friendly countries’ to avert Afghan humanitarian crisis – Reuters

Pakistan on Friday renewed its appeal to the international community and relief agencies to provide assistance to Afghanistan, as Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered the relevant authorities to “explore bilateral cooperation with countries friends” to avert an impending humanitarian crisis in the neighboring state by exporting skilled products and skilled labor, particularly in the medical, computer, financial and accounting fields.

It also issued guidelines to expand cooperation in railways, minerals, pharmaceuticals and media to help Afghanistan’s rehabilitation and development, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said. in a press release.

“Pakistan is committed to providing full support to the Afghan people to avoid [a] humanitarian crisis,” the prime minister said while chairing the third meeting of the Supreme Committee on Afghanistan.

In addition, the Prime Minister’s Office said, Prime Minister Imran welcomed the UN’s call for aid to Afghanistan, as the committee stressed the need to provide assistance and aid to this war-torn country by the global community at this “critical time to avoid [an] economic collapse and save precious lives”.

The UN has urged the global community to provide aid to Afghanistan and also called for unfreezing Afghan assets, citing a looming humanitarian crisis following an economic collapse since the Taliban takeover in August 2019. ‘last year.

Earlier this week, the UN and its partners launched their largest-ever appeal for Afghanistan. And yesterday, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, had appealed for the suspension of rules preventing the use of money in Afghanistan to save lives and for a path to the conditional release of frozen Afghan currency reserves, according to Reuters.

UN aid agencies describe the plight of Afghanistan as one of the fastest growing humanitarian crises in the world. The United Nations Humanitarian Coordination Office recently reported that half the population was suffering from acute hunger, that more than nine million people had abandoned their homes and that millions of children were out of school.

Similar details were highlighted at today’s supreme committee meeting, where participants were told that Afghanistan was on the brink of a ‘hunger and crisis situation during this harsh winter’.

“The crisis is making it difficult for people to get enough food and shelter,” the meeting said, according to the PMO.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the supreme committee had expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and “promised that Pakistan would not abandon the Afghans in times of need”.

“The committee resolved to stand with the Afghan people and urged relief agencies to take immediate action.”

Earlier in the meeting, the supreme committee was briefed on the progress made in in-kind humanitarian aid worth Rs. emergency, winter shelter and other supplies.

The aid was approved by Prime Minister Imran in November last year.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudry, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Prime Minister’s Trade Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf, Chief of General Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa and senior civilian and military officers.

The looming crisis in Afghanistan

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the country has plunged into financial chaos, with inflation and unemployment soaring.

Billions of dollars in the country’s assets have been frozen by the United States, while aid supplies have been severely disrupted.

Global aid agencies have warned that more than half of Afghanistan’s 38 million people are expected to face hunger this winter.

Keeping the situation in mind, the Taliban last week appealed for emergency humanitarian aid without “political bias”, saying recent snowfall and flooding had worsened the plight of the Afghan people.

In a video call, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar said: “The world must support the Afghan people without any political bias and fulfill their humanitarian obligations.

“We call on the international community, NGOs and all countries not to forget our poor,” Baradar added in what was the first direct appeal by a senior Taliban to address the deteriorating humanitarian crisis.

No country has yet officially recognized the Taliban government and diplomats face the delicate task of channeling aid to the struggling economy without supporting the Taliban.

In December last year, Muslim nations agreed to work with the United Nations to try to release frozen assets, mostly held in the United States.

The special meeting of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation was the biggest conference on Afghanistan since the fall of the previous US-backed government in August and the return to power of the Taliban.

Also in December, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution proposed by the United States to help humanitarian aid reach desperate Afghans, while seeking to keep funds out of Taliban hands. .

The Security Council resolution allows aid to reach the country for a year without violating international sanctions aimed at isolating the Taliban.

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