United Nations, United States:
The Taliban pledged to guarantee the safety of humanitarian workers and access to aid in Afghanistan on Sunday during a meeting with the UN chief of humanitarian aid in Kabul, a UN spokesman said.
Martin Griffiths was in the Afghan capital on Sunday for several days of meetings with the Taliban leadership amid an impending humanitarian disaster in the country newly under Taliban control.
“Authorities have pledged to guarantee the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and humanitarian access to those in need and to give humanitarian aid workers – both men and women – freedom of movement,” a UN spokesman said. Stephane. said Dujarric.
Griffiths reiterated at the meeting that the humanitarian community is committed to providing “impartial and independent humanitarian aid,” the statement said.
He also called on all parties to ensure the rights and safety of women, both those who contribute to the relief effort and citizens.
Women’s freedoms in Afghanistan were severely curtailed under the 1996-2001 Taliban regime.
The Taliban delegation, led by the group’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, thanked UN officials for “promising to continue humanitarian aid to the Afghan people” and assured them “cooperation and necessary facilities,” said a statement posted on Twitter by Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen.
The UN says Afghanistan is embroiled in a humanitarian crisis affecting 18 million people, or half the population.
Even before the Taliban’s lightning strike that ousted the Western-backed government on Aug. 15, Afghanistan was heavily dependent on aid — with 40 percent of the country’s GDP coming from foreign funding.
But the future of relief missions in the country under the Taliban has been a source of concern for the UN and aid groups, despite the Taliban’s pledges of a softer kind of rule than during their first stint in power.
Several aid organizations have previously confirmed to AFP that they are in talks with the Taliban to continue their operations, or have already received security guarantees for existing programs.
The UN said humanitarian flights to several Afghan provinces resumed this week.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this weekend urged the Taliban and all other parties to exercise extreme restraint to protect lives and ensure humanitarian needs can be met.
The report was drawn up because the mandate of the UN political mission in Afghanistan expires on 17 September.
(This story was not edited by NewsMadura staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)