UN Humanitarians seek additional $3.6 bln for Afghanistan aid

United Nations, Jan 27 (IANS) The UN team in Afghanistan has launched a $3.6 billion plan to help reduce new-found suffering and save lives, a UN spokesman said.

The overarching One-UN Transitional Engagement Framework, launched on Wednesday, aims to help the Afghan people meet their basic human needs, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The funding is in addition to the $4.4 billion Humanitarian Response Plan the UN announced on January 11, saying it needed to aid 22.1 million Afghans this year, Xinhua news agency reported citing Dujarric.

“It just shows . the increased needs that we see in Afghanistan as we gain access to more regions.”

The UN team is working to reduce the suffering of the Afghan people by saving lives, sustaining essential services and preserving basic community systems, he said. “The framework is a way of better managing the resources that we will get and better managing the implementation.”

The framework calls for additional funding “to sustain essential social services such as health and education; support community systems through maintenance of basic infrastructure . and promotion of livelihoods and social cohesion, with specific emphasis on socio-economic needs of women and girls.”

Afghans suffer from a hobbled agricultural economy, sanctions throttling financial liquidity and now severe winter weather following the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country on August 15, 2021.

Last month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a humanitarian exemption to a 1988 sanctions regime. It said humanitarian assistance for basic human needs in Afghanistan is not a violation of the sanctions.