Wednesday, May 29, 2024

$11m for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan

Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further NZ$11 million in funding to support the United Nations’ response to the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, announced today.

“Afghanistan is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with more than two-thirds of the Afghan population now requiring assistance. Vulnerable communities are experiencing record levels of food insecurity and are in desperate need of health services, clean water, and education,” Minister Mahuta said.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan and we will continue to stand with international partners in expressing our concern about the humanitarian and human rights situation in Afghanistan, particularly for women and girls.

“We condemn Taliban restrictions limiting Afghan women and girls’ access to secondary education, higher education, public and political spaces, and to employment opportunities. Such restrictions are contributing to worsening humanitarian needs in Afghanistan.”

The Minister said the further imposition of restrictions on Afghan women working for the UN and non-governmental organisations undermines the delivery of much-needed, effective and principled humanitarian assistance.

“We commend those dedicated humanitarians, especially Afghan women, working in this exceedingly difficult context to provide essential assistance.”

“We urge the Taliban to respect all people of Afghanistan and reverse all decisions and practices restricting women’s and girls’ ability to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” she said.

The extra NZ$11 million announced today will support UN agencies to provide essential assistance to the people of Afghanistan and includes:

  • NZ$4million to the World Food Programme to support their provision of lifesaving and suffering-alleviating food assistance;
  • NZ$3.22million  (US$2m) to the Food and Agriculture Organisation to support food security and livelihoods, including through the provision of fertilisers and seeds, and cash-for-work programmes that will rehabilitate rural infrastructure;
  • NZ$2 million to the UN Children’s Fund to support the provision of health, nutrition and sanitation assistance for young people and their families;
  • NZ$2 million to support the UN Population Fund’s provision of critical reproductive health and psychosocial assistance to affected communities, especially women and girls.

The $11million announced today takes New Zealand’s support for Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August 2021 to $24 million.

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