Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

Today, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič will be participating, on behalf of the European Commission, at the High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan.  The meeting, convened by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, aims to ramp up funding for international humanitarian agencies responding to the acute needs in Afghanistan, especially during this time of crisis.

EU Commissioner Lenarčič said:

“There is an urgency to act in Afghanistan to avoid a breakdown of basic services for the people in need. The EU supports all the international community’s efforts to continue to stand in solidarity with the people in Afghanistan, suffering from increasing violations of International Humanitarian Law, decades of conflict, and natural disasters. The EU recently announced to boost its humanitarian package to over €200 million.  In the present challenging context, the EU’s focus remains to provide urgent life-saving aid, to the most vulnerable in the population. It is the obligation of all warring parties to uphold International Humanitarian Law and grant access to life-saving humanitarian assistance. The needs in Afghanistan cannot be mitigated by humanitarian assistance only for a longer-term solution to alleviate human suffering. 

Afghanistan faces a deepening humanitarian and economic crisis. Some 18 million Afghans – almost half of the population – were already in need of humanitarian assistance since the beginning of 2021. One in three Afghans is experiencing crisis or an emergency level of food insecurity, and more than half of the children under five are at the brink of acute malnutrition. The EU is a lead humanitarian and development donor in Afghanistan.

The EU has funded humanitarian operations in Afghanistan since 1994, providing over €1 billion. Funds are allocated strictly based on the humanitarian principles of humanity, independence, impartiality and neutrality to ensure access to those in need. More information about the meeting, which is starting at 2:00 pm today, can be found here.