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SALAM WANTADAR

Blinken holds virtual meeting with UN, ICRC officials over Afghanistan

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MONITORING (SW) – The leading US diplomat held virtual meeting with top humanitarian officials over situation in Afghanistan.

In view of the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held discussions with UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffith and President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer and discussed the prevailing crisis in war-torn country. During the discussion, Blinken highlighted the assistance provided by the United States to the Afghans.

In a statement, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, “Today, Blinken met virtually with UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths and President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer about efforts to strengthen the provision of urgently needed humanitarian assistance and other activists

Blinken said that humanitarian aid of USD 308 million has been given to Afghans and the funding will go to humanitarian organizations and help them with lifesaving protection, health care, shelter, winterization assistance, food aid, and water sanitization. During the virtual discussion, Blinken also talked about how to further protect and support aid groups to ensure that assistance reaches the people who are in need and how to increase donations.

The US Secretary of State highlighted the department’s efforts on women’s issues in Afghanistan, reported the AP.

Recently, the US-appointed Rina Amiri as Special Envoy on Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights, he noted.

Moreover, the growing need to end hostilities, including airstrikes, in northern Ethiopia, and steps to reaching a peaceful political settlement, were also discussed in the meeting. The Secretary emphasised that all parties must come together and allow humanitarian access and to end the suffering of the people in northern Ethiopia, the statement read.

Ever since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in mid-August last year, the country has been facing an extremely chaotic situation and is now on the brink of being pushed to famine. Since the formation of the government by the hardest Islamist group, women and girls have mostly been deprived of education and work. More than half the country’s population is starving, and the social and economic crises are increasing with each passing day.

However, several countries, including the US, have come forward to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, but the crisis continues. Meanwhile, the Taliban government in Kabul has started a “food for work” scheme for Afghans, in which the workers are given 10 kg of wheat in return for daylong labour.

ENDS

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