Gordon Brown Asks Liz Truss To Help Fund Raise For Afghanistan | Afghanistan

Gordon Brown wrote to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss calling on him to help convene a donors’ conference to raise $ 4.5 billion (£ 3.3 billion) for Afghanistan as he warned that more than 23 million people were at risk of starving to death if aid did not. come to fruition.

The former PM said: “We are witnessing a shameful but also doomed failure to prevent starvation”, adding that the UK should urgently take the initiative to resume aid delivery dramatically interrupted after the Taliban takeover.

The money was available, Brown said in an article for the Guardian, but donor countries needed to be sure they would not be affected by existing international sanctions, which he said could also be relaxed if the Taliban were making real progress on the rights of women and girls.

On Tuesday, UN agencies appealed for $ 4.5 billion in aid for 2022, its largest international appeal ever. The United States has responded with a donation of $ 308 million, which will be channeled through independent humanitarian organizations.

But Brown said that was not enough. “The coalition of 35 countries led by the United States which ruled Afghanistan for 20 years under the banner of aid to the Afghan people has yet given only a quarter of the money that would allow aid workers to l ‘UN to prevent the deaths of children this winter. “

Britain had planned to cut aid spending on Afghanistan in 2021, in line with larger cuts to the aid budget, but increased its pledge to £ 286million in August, bringing the total global to nearly £ 290million delivered in 2019.

The rich countries of the Middle East were ready to engage, he added. “The Gulf states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates – have the money and have made offers of help, but they fear a US reaction. Realistically, America will have to break the deadlock and end the cycle of famine and death. “

Brown said he wrote to Truss and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen asking them to organize an international donors’ conference “in January or at the latest in February” to break the deadlock.

The Afghan economy, previously dependent on aid, is “in free fall,” according to the UN, falling about 40% since the withdrawal of US and NATO forces last summer. International aid came to a halt almost overnight once the Taliban took power, while US economic sanctions targeting the group further isolated the country.

“The devastation the world was warned about months ago is no longer a distant prospect,” Brown wrote. UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths wrote Brown, “predicts that if we do not act 97% of Afghans will soon be living below the poverty line.”

About 90% of clinics nationwide “don’t have the funds to stay open” as the Covid crisis continues, the former prime minister said. Only 11% of the Afghan population of around 40 million have been vaccinated.

“Aid workers now find children crammed under threadbare blankets in camps and temporary slums or lying wrapped in their mothers’ burqas outside hospitals awaiting treatment that is simply not available now,” Brown added.

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