Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees warns and made a remark recently that has sent ripples across the world. He stated that the complete withdrawal of the U.S. from Afghanistan marks the beginning of a greater humanitarian crisis. Though the tragedy will be visible only until the airlift ends, it will become a long-term reality for millions in the country. He urged the world not to turn away from this crisis.
The Pentagon recently released a statement that has completed its withdrawal efforts from the Kabul airport thereby putting an end to America’s longest war. President Joe Biden said that over 120,000 people including Afghan allies and U.S. citizens were evacuated over 17 days.
Filippo Grandi pointed out that a majority of Afghans about 39 million still remain inside Afghanistan and are in dire need of help as he further warns the UN. He said that they need humanitarians, governments, and ordinary citizens to stay with them. Kabul fell to the Taliban in August, as the U.S. prepared to withdraw its military troops from the country after two decades. Acts of violence by the Islamist militant group in the region have surfaced since then.
Humanitarian Affairs Warns UN on Famine and Basic Amenities
The head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Afghanistan, Isabelle Moussard Calsen, said that half the country needs aid and half the children are malnourished due to decades of drought and conflict witnessed by the nation. He further added that the population is very vulnerable and does not have any access to water, food, health care, and education.
World Health Organization Aid Response
The World Health Organization released an official statement on Monday that 12.5 metric tons of medical supplies and medicines have landed in Afghanistan for the first time since the country came under the control of the Taliban.
The supplies include emergency health kits and trauma kits and were enough to cover the basic needs of over 200,000 people. However, it was also mentioned that these supplies can only partially replenish reserves as of now. Furthermore, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization stated that the drought also threatens the livelihoods of over 7 million people in the country who rely solely on livestock and agriculture.
The UN and its partners have a $1.3 billion response plan for the nation but it has only been 40% funded. The humanitarian agency seeks $800 million more to execute its response plan for Afghanistan. It is high time that the international community understands that humanitarians will remain with the innocent people of the country. They want to stay and deliver all the means to respond to the looming crisis.
McKenzie who is overseeing the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan has revealed that the Taliban were really helpful as they tried to close down operations. He also said no evacuees were left at the airfield when the last C-17 took off from America. Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State said that fewer than 200 Americans are still waiting to be evacuated and they are committed to bringing them back.
The withdrawal of US troops heralds a new chapter in America’s engagement in Afghanistan. Blinken said that they want to lead with diplomacy as the military mission is now over. However, they will remain vigilant in maintaining robust counterterrorism capabilities in the region and neutralizing any threats if necessary.