UN, OIC stress humanitarian aid for vulnerable Afghans
KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations has called for increased international partnerships to address the root causes of humanitarian needs, reduce communities’ vulnerability to disasters and raise awareness of the protracted humanitarian crisis.
Civilians continued to bear the brunt of a conflict that has grown in intensity and geographic scope, affecting the lives of at least 6.3 million Afghans, a joint statement from the world body and OIC said.
More than 210,000 individuals have been internally displaced by conflict in 2016 alone – some 1,000 people a day. The continued war and displacement create recurring humanitarian emergencies, straining already overstretched basic services.
Afghanistan has the world’s second highest mortality rate for children under five and almost 3 million people are affected by malnutrition. The deteriorating security situation severely hampers the delivery of health services and the displaced people are highly vulnerable to both diseases and malnutrition.
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with the Middle East and Central AsiaRashid Khalikovsaid: “Nearly a third of the people of Afghanistan are in need of humanitarian aid and this continues year after year. It is critical that the UN works to reinforce the humanitarian partnerships that can support and enhance the response to people’s immediate and longer term needs.”
A 2016 mid-year UN report recorded a total number of 5,166 civilian casualties, the largest since 2009. One third of the casualties were children. The total number of civilian casualties since 2009 amounts to 63,934.
Ambassador Hesham Youssef, assistant secretary-general of OIC for humanitarian affairs, said: “It is evident to us that much more effort is needed to address the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. This is why the OIC is exerting extensive efforts to address the escalating conflict.
“We also hope to be able to benefit from this mission in raising awareness of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan at the international level and in our Member States with the objective of increasing their assistance and investment in sustainable development solutions for the people of Afghanistan.”
Chairman of OIC Humanitarian Funds’ Board of TrusteesSheikh Abdul Aziz al-Thanisaid: “With this visit marking World Humanitarian Day, and as needs continue to grow, we are looking into how the OIC Humanitarian Fund for Afghanistan can build on 15 years of presence to mobilise greater and more predictable funding for humanitarian programmes.”
UN’s Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-GeneralResident and Humanitarian CoordinatorMark Bowden said: “Afghanistan remains as one of the world's most protracted crises that has led to massive levels of internal displacement.
“Each year sees more families uprooted by conflict many of whom remain displaced and at the margins of survival. In this, the first World Humanitarian day following the World Humanitarian Summit, we must make more determined efforts to live up to international commitments made in Istanbul to leave no one behindand better address the needs of displaced people..."
It is critical that Afghanistan invests in sustainable development solutions to reduce the cycles of humanitarian needs. This will require a sustainable and effective health care system; durable solutions for the internally displaced and returning refugees; effective water management to reduce flooding and droughts; and the development of an effective disaster management system including early warning mechanisms.
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