Thursday, July 18, 2024

$6m to feed famine prevention in Afghanistan

New Zealand is providing more humanitarian support for Afghanistan, with an additional $6 million going to support international efforts to prevent famine and strengthen food security.

“We remain deeply concerned by the severe humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta said today.

“The levels of severe food insecurity facing Afghan communities are dire, with 8.7 million Afghans at risk of famine-like conditions this year.

Of the $6 million pledged, half will be provided through the World Food Programme and the remainder will come from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

“This brings our total support for the Afghan humanitarian response to $12 million since August last year,” Ms Mahuta said.

The funding was announced by virtual address in Geneva, as part of the Afghanistan Conference 2022 – a high-level pledging event aimed at securing financial support to address humanitarian needs in Afghanistan in 2022. It was co-hosted by UN Secretary General António Guterres and the Governments of the UK, Germany, and Qatar. 

“Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to supporting the Afghan people,” Ms Mahuta said.

“We need to ensure that we do not lose sight of the scale and severity of humanitarian need in Afghanistan in light of new and emerging crises elsewhere around the globe. 

“We will continue to stand with international partners in expressing our concern about Afghanistan’s humanitarian and human rights situation, particularly for women and girls.”

Alongside other humanitarian support, New Zealand’s efforts to assist citizens, permanent residents and Afghan visa holders evacuating Afghanistan is ongoing. Since August 2021, more than 1,450 people have safely arrived in New Zealand, the Minister said. 

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