The Ukraine Invasion by Russia must not make the world forget Afghanistan in this time of crisis, ignoring the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan can turn out to be “very risky”, says UNHCR Chief Filippo Grandi. UN High commissioner for refugees is on a four-day visit to Afghanistan. He emphasized that the international community needs to continue its engagement with the Afghan Interim Government and that the country is in dire need of humanitarian assistance. UN Refugee Chief, Filippo Grandi, spoke to AFP saying, “The entire attention of the world at the moment is focused on Ukraine, but my message coming here is that don’t forget the other situations, where attention and resources are needed and Afghanistan is one of them. The risks of distraction are very high, very high. Humanitarian assistance has to flow no matter how many other crises compete with Afghanistan around the world.”
Since the IEA takeover of Afghanistan on August 15 and the hasty withdrawal of the US from the region, the country is facing an increased humanitarian crisis. United Nations and numerous Global Aid agencies have reported that more than half of Afghanistan’s 38 million people are facing hunger this winter. The biggest single-country aid appeal calling for $5 billion was made by the United Nations in January in an attempt to avert the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. A fund of about $100 million has been raised on the appeal of $340 million funds for Afghanistan in 2022 by UNHCR. The start of the war in Ukraine has made fundraising for Afghanistan difficult. Grandi acknowledges the betterment in security conditions in Afghanistan since the IEA takeover and says that discussions related to aid have been more frank and open since.
Despite the fact that IEA’s permanent representative to UN Suhail Shaheen announced that all teenage girls will return to school by March 2022, Washington-led global donors have emphasized that foreign aid to Afghanistan will depend on the IEA’s policy and actions related to women’s rights to work and education. In the midst of this, the world’s divergence of attention to Ukraine from Afghanistan can add to the already worsening humanitarian catastrophe in the country.