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Attending a meeting of the G7 in Liverpool yesterday, Foreign Secretary LizTruss said: “We are determined to do all we can for the people of Afghanistan.” It comes as Afghans face their first winter in more than 20 years with a Taliban government, widely considered to be unable to cope with a crisis that has left 23 million people facing severe hunger.
To make matters worse, much of the aid which had been flowing from the international community ceased with the ousting of President Ashraf Ghani, with governments unwilling to support a regime which bars girls from education and favours reintroducing the full range of punishment under Sharia law.
The UK emergency aid will go through the UN and other trusted organisations including the International Organisation for Migration and the International Rescue Committee. Almost half – £34million – has been allocated to the UN’sWorld Food Programme (WFP), which has delivered 200,000 tons of food in Afghanistan this year.The rest will go to emergency health, shelter, water and hygiene services.
Sources from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stressed none of the money would go directly to the Taliban. The aid announcement means the UK will have donated £286million to Afghanistan this year. “The funds announced today will save lives, protect women and girls and support stability in the region. Aid agencies will prioritise those most at risk including households headed by women and disabled people,” said MsTruss.
WFP executive director David Beasley said: “What we are seeing on the ground is heartbreaking – 23 million people are facing severe hunger in a country crippled by drought, conflict and an economic crisis.”
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