Today, the high-level Pledging Conference on Support for Humanitarian Response in Afghanistan will take place in Geneva. The meeting seeks to increase international support for Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation, which has become worse since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August.
We thank the co-hosts of the Conference: The United Nations and the Government of the United Kingdom, Germany and Qatar for their leadership in this important initiative.
The pledging conference comes at a moment of great urgency for the people of Afghanistan. With the collapse of state institutions, over 60% of Afghanistan’s population – approximately 24.4 million people – is now in need of emergency assistance for mere survival with acute poverty, food insecurity and lack of other basic needs have become a chronic problem.
We’re grateful for the solidarity and support of the international community for Afghanistan in difficult times. Never has such support been more essential that it is today. We therefore hope that the today’s pledging conference will meet its intended objectives: to scale up international assistance for the humanitarian needs of our people, to reinforce the strong commitment of humanitarian aid partners for assistance delivery across the country, and to highlight the many challenges facing the citizens of Afghanistan.
Tragically, in addition to the deepening economic hardship under the Taliban, grave violations of human rights continue and have increased. Among other repressive measures, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, suppression of the media, preventing women and girls’ access to work and education and the right to travel without a male relative, have turned life into an unbearable misery for our people.
More than seven months after their forced takeover, the Taliban re-confirmed what we expected and anticipated; failure to act in line with the needs and expectations of the people. The Taliban’s decision last week to keep all secondary schools closed for girls across the country is the latest among several new measures taken in repressing and violating the basic rights of citizens. We thank the UN Security Council, the European Union and other countries and organizations for recent positions in support of the rights of the people of Afghanistan, especially women and girls.
Moreover, it is essential to bear in mind that it’s been the Taliban’s decision on imposed rules against the will of the people, in violation of the expectation of the international community, that has resulted in the lack of legitimate governance and worsening of the present-day situation in Afghanistan. It is therefore important to ensure that the Taliban don’t use or abuse international aid in favor of strengthening their brutal regime.
In this light, we continue to believe in a political agreement that gives way to the formation of a truly broad-based, representative, decentralized and locally accountable government that upholds the will of the people as the most plausible solution to the crisis in Afghanistan.
Once again, we thank all our friends in the international community for their continuous solidarity and support for Afghanistan and hope that today’s conference will be the start of a new phase of international engagement to help address the difficult plight of the people of Afghanistan in all aspects.