UK pledges $374m to Afghanistan

KABUL (Tolo News): Britain on Wednesday pledged an additional 286 million pounds ($374 million) for life-saving food and other aid in Afghanistan, a day ahead of an international conference seeking $4.4 billion for addressing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
“The UK is rallying countries in support of the Afghan people and helping lead the way in providing life-sustaining food, shelter and medical supplies. Together with allies and partners, we can do more and will do more to help Afghanistan,” Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in announcing the pledge that matches its latest annual commitment.
The UN humanitarian appeal, the largest ever launched for a single country, is only 13% funded, UN spokesperson Jens Laerke said ahead of Thursday’s pledging conference. Laerke said the funds go directly to aid agencies implementing projects on the ground and none is channeled through the Islamic Emirate.
Roughly 23 million people are experiencing acute hunger and 95% of Afghans are not eating enough, while 10 million children are in urgent need of aid to survive, according to the United Nations, which will co-host the talks with Britain. The online pledging event will be held on Thursday at the ministerial level. It will be convened by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and will be co-hosted by Qatar, UK and Germany, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
“While Afghanistan has long had persistent humanitarian needs due to years of conflict and recurring drought, the current situation is unparalleled, with more than 24.4 million people requiring humanitarian assistance to survive. Food security levels have plunged at a rate not seen elsewhere in such a short period, with half the population facing acute hunger, including 9 million people in emergency food insecurity – the highest number globally. Malnutrition is on the rise, and livelihoods have been destroyed,” OCHA said.