Doha, 2 May 2023 (TDI): On Tuesday, on the sidelines of the Meeting of Special Representatives on Afghanistan in Doha, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar held a one-on-one meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres. They discussed ways to engage and deliver aid to the people of Afghanistan.
The Minister expressed Pakistan’s firm desire to work with the entire international community, including the United Nations (UN), to develop a credible and irreversible engagement process with Afghanistan. She said that Pakistan supported a process that urgently fulfill the humanitarian needs and creates sustainable economic opportunities for Afghans.
Agenda of the Meeting of Special Representatives on Afghanistan
The meeting was centered on Afghan people. Participants decided in the meeting that there was a need for a ‘strategy of engagement.’ A strategy that would enable ways to ensure the ‘stabilization of Afghanistan’ and address important issues. The issues include terrorism, women’s rights, and drug trafficking.
Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan
During the press conference at the end of the meeting, UNSG Antonio Guterres said, “It [Afghanistan Crisis] is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today.”
Ninety-seven percent of Afghans live in poverty, and two third – twenty-eight million – of the population will require humanitarian assistance to survive this year.
Six million Afghan children, women, and men will probably be affected by famine-like conditions. The UN’s Humanitarian Response Plan has received only $294 million out of the required $6.4 billion, which makes it 6.4 percent of the total funding required.
Besides insufficient funds, the UN lacks aid workers to deliver aid to Afghans. Many of these are women and the Taliban’s decision to ban women from working for the UN, and national and international Non-governmental Organizations affects the delivery of aid in the future.
By doing so, the Taliban infringes the human rights. Moreover, their decision will have far-reaching consequences. It will undermine the development of Afghanistan, which in turn will impact regional peace and stability.
Special Representatives agreed to have another meeting on Afghanistan in the near future and bring various initiatives related to Afghanistan.