UN chief warns millions of Afghans are on ‘verge of dying’

The United Nations chief is warning that millions of Afghans are in grave hazard and on the “verge of dying” as a result of of freezing temperatures and frozen property overseas

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations chief warned Thursday that millions of Afghans are on the “verge of dying,” urging the worldwide group to fund the U.N.’s $5 billion humanitarian enchantment, launch Afghanistan’s frozen property and jump-start its banking system to avert financial and social collapse.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres instructed reporters that “freezing temperatures and frozen property are a deadly mixture for the individuals of Afghanistan,” and “guidelines and circumstances that stop money from getting used to save lots of lives and the economic system have to be suspended on this emergency scenario.”

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Afghanistan’s aid-dependent economic system was already stumbling when the Taliban seized energy in mid-August amid the chaotic departure of U.S. and NATO troops after 20 years. The worldwide group froze Afghanistan’s property overseas and halted financial assist, unwilling to work with the Taliban, given their status for brutality throughout their 1996-2001 rule and refusal to coach women and permit ladies to work.

The U.N. says 8.7 million Afghans are on the brink of hunger and Guterres mentioned it’s important to quickly inject liquidity into the Afghan economic system “and keep away from a meltdown that will result in poverty, starvation and destitution for millions.”

It’s “completely important” to keep away from a breakdown, he burdened, “as a result of with the current scenario you may have Afghans on the verge of dying.”

The secretary-general mentioned the United States has “a vital position to play as a result of most of the monetary system on this planet operates in {dollars}” and the United States has frozen $7 billion in Afghan international reserves, primarily held within the U.S.

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U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths and Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, are scheduled to carry a digital assembly Friday with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Guterres mentioned one cause for the assembly is to attempt to create “mechanisms that permit for an efficient injection of funds into the Afghan economic system and, on the identical time, create the circumstances for the monetary system in Afghanistan to have the ability to function within the native forex.”

The U.N. chief mentioned worldwide funding must be allowed to pay the salaries of medical doctors, sanitation staff, electrical engineers and different civil servants in addition to assist Afghan establishments ship well being care, schooling and different key providers.

Last month, the World Bank transferred $280 million from a reconstruction belief fund it administers for Afghanistan to the U.N. kids’s company, UNICEF, and the World Food Program for his or her operations within the nation, Guterres mentioned.

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“I hope the remaining assets — greater than $1.2 billion — will develop into out there to assist Afghanistan’s individuals survive the winter,” he mentioned.

While interesting to the worldwide group to assist the Afghan individuals, Guterres mentioned he was making an equally pressing enchantment to Taliban leaders “to acknowledge and shield the elemental human rights, and particularly the rights of ladies and women,” and to construct authorities establishments through which all Afghans really feel represented.

“Across Afghanistan, ladies and women are lacking from places of work and school rooms.” Guterres mentioned. “No nation can thrive wile denying the rights of half of its inhabitants.”

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