Afghanistan “is hanging by a thread,” UN chief Antonio Guterres told the Security Council

Afghanistan “is hanging by a thread,” UN chief Antonio Guterres told the Security Council


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday that Afghanistan was “hanging by a thread”. He urged countries to approve all transactions necessary to conduct humanitarian activities.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday that Afghanistan was “hanging by a thread”. He urged countries to approve all transactions necessary to conduct humanitarian activities.

He also advocated the suspension of any rule or condition restricting “life-saving” relief efforts. He said millions of people in Afghanistan are suffering from extreme hunger and that education and social services are on the verge of collapse. A lack of liquidity limits the capacity of the UN and aid organizations to reach people in need, he said.

“We need to give financial institutions and trading partners legal assurances that they can work with humanitarian actors without fear of sanctions,” Guterres said, noting that the 15-member council last month approved a humanitarian waiver of UN sanctions on Afghanistan said goodbye

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About $9.5 billion in Afghan central bank money remains frozen abroad. International development aid has dried up since the Taliban seized power in the country last August.

‚ÄúThere is compelling evidence of an emerging environment of intimidation and declining respect for human rights. This suggests that the consolidation of governance could lead to population control through fear,” UN special envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons told the council.

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In December, donors to a frozen Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust fund managed by the World Bank agreed to donate $280 million to the World Food Program and the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, to support nutrition and health in Afghanistan. Guterres said the fund’s remaining $1.2 billion “needs to be released urgently to help the people of Afghanistan survive the winter.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council Washington has been working to ensure US sanctions do not hamper humanitarian activities and is reviewing options to ease the liquidity crisis.

(With contributions from agencies)

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