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Call for Afghanistan Funding

Tuesday December 14 2021

Christian Aid has called on the UK Government to urgently 'identify safe, efficient payment channels' so that funding can quickly flow into Afghanistan to sustain humanitarian operations.  

The call coincides with new polling by Savanta, commissioned by the international development charity, which reveals over half, 53%, of voters believe that the UK Government has an obligation to enable aid to get into Afghanistan for humanitarian work.

Last month, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned more than half the Afghan population - about 22.8 million people - face acute food insecurity this winter, while 3.2 million children under five could suffer acute malnutrition.

However, despite Afghanistan's fragile economy relying on foreign aid, the UK and other western powers have frozen international funds, including assets Afghanistan could have accessed with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Subrata De, Christian Aid’s Country Manager for Afghanistan, explained “we’re doing all we can to distribute food and emergency supplies, but we cannot run humanitarian programmes well without a functional banking system.” He added: “The situation is desperate, people are without wages, and many are resorting to selling anything to buy food.”

Fionna Smyth, Head of Global Advocacy and Policy at Christian Aid, said: “Afghanistan is in crisis with millions on the verge of starvation. Reports that families are so desperate they have been forced to sell their children to buy food are utterly heartbreaking.

“Christian Aid, alongside partners, has been in Afghanistan for over thirty years. We continue to fight, but the banking system collapse has stripped back our ability to get aid to those in need.

"With winter now almost upon us, people in Afghanistan need hope. The UK Government has a moral duty to stop putting politics before people's lives."

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