New Zealand will provide $3 million in humanitarian assistance to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.
Ms Mahuta said the organisations were providing life-saving humanitarian support for crisis affected communities in Afghanistan, and those seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
“The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is dire, with millions in need of assistance and hundreds of thousands displaced by the recent conflict – 80% of whom are reported to be women and girls,” the Minister said.
She said the Red Cross was currently focusing on protection of civilians and provision of essential services in Afghanistan including emergency health care, water and sanitation.
“The UN Refugee Agency is providing a range of protection and assistance support to internally displaced Afghans. It is also supporting Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries.”
“It is vital that humanitarian agencies are allowed access to affected populations.
“Aotearoa New Zealand also calls on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, protect aid workers and civilians from harm, and support the right to freedom of movement.
“We also call on those in positions of power to ensure the rights and freedoms of women and girls are protected as this humanitarian crisis deteriorates,” Minister Mahuta said.