Red Cross says Afghan humanitarian crisis too big for aid groups to handle alone

Oct 22, 2021

The Red Cross said in an interview with Reuters on Friday the Afghan humanitarian crisis is too big for aid groups to handle alone.

“Humanitarian organisations joining forces can only do so much. They can come up with temporary solutions.” the  International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Director General Robert Mardini told the outlet.

“Afghanistan is a compounded crisis that is deteriorating by the day,” he added.

Efforts by humanitarian groups in Afghanistan have increased since the collapse of its government and the Taliban takeover in August, but actions are limited as the country has been cut off from international aid.

“No humanitarian organisation can compensate or replace the economy of a country,” Mardini said.

Mardini said the United Nations move to set up a fund to give cash directly to Afghan people will only solve the problem for around three months with 30 percent of the population facing severe malnutrition

Ten Asian and Middle Eastern powers are backing calls with the Taliban for more humanitarian aid for the country.

The countries are calling for the U.N. to hold a summit so Afghanistan doesn’t fall into an economic crisis.

Countries have been reluctant to give Afghanistan aid due to concerns the Taliban is violating human rights and going after Afghan allies who worked with the U.S. and others over the past two decades.

“Obviously, our focus remains working with like-minded countries and parties around the world to ensure that we are sending a clear message to the Taliban about the expectations that there is freedom for people to depart Afghanistan, that we are allowed to have flights in, get humanitarian assistance to the right people,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

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“That’s what we’ve been working through with the U.N. on and working through with 100 countries around the world,” she added.

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