Message to New Afghanistan President: Humanitarian Aid Needs Attention Now
Alwihda Info | Par Jordan Helton - 22 Septembre 2014 modifié le 22 Septembre 2014 - 18:39
Ashraf Ghani, announced today as the new president of Afghanistan, faces an immediate challenge to get emergency relief to Afghans in desperate need, but this will only be possible if the international community fully commits to funding the aid, says the International Rescue Committee.
Nine million people in Afghanistan need lifesaving support, including food and emergency medical care. Around 2.2 million people face a daily struggle to feed themselves and one in ten Afghan children under the age of five is acutely malnourished.
In addition, around 667,000 Afghans are displaced by the country’s ongoing conflict and frequent environmental disasters; 131,000 of them in the past year alone. Severe flooding affected 150,000 people this year, forcing many from their homes. Afghanistan is also coping with the influx of more than 110,000 Pakistan refugees that have fled, predominately into Khost province, to avoid fighting in North Waziristan.
Yet despite the overwhelming needs, international support for Afghanistan is declining. The UN lowered its appeal by 14% and yet it is still only 55% funded. The US has halved its total assistance, hitting humanitarian assistance and community based development budgets the hardest.
David Miliband, president and CEO of the IRC said: “When you consider the amount of money spent on military operations in Afghanistan, it is extraordinary to think only 0.025 per cent of the $1.6 trillion the United States is estimated to have spent on 12 years of fighting could provide the critical assistance needed to reach the most vulnerable Afghans this year.
“Despite the extent of the difficulties faced by Afghanistan, there is clear evidence that community-based aid can make a big difference. We have seen a dramatic increase in school enrolment, an increase in life expectancy and a reduction in the risk faced by mothers giving birth. Much of this success has only been possible because of the commitment of local communities working with international organisations to reach the most vulnerable. The IRC has been proud to partner with the Afghan people for over thirty years. Now is the time to redouble our efforts as the country tries to generate momentum for recovery from its long war."
In April the IRC published a report drawing upon IRC's unique experience with local partners in more than 4,000 villages, delivering emergency assistance, providing health care and education, improving infrastructure and helping the Afghan people find employment opportunities. The report called for an improvement in the delivery of aid – from education to health care to other essential community-based services. Read the full report here.
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