The United Nations hosted an Afghanistan pledging conference in Geneva on Monday.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who presided over the Afghanistan Donors’ Conference in Geneva, called on the international community to provide $606 million to the Afghan people.
The goal of the meeting, held under the auspices of the United Nations, is to address hunger among millions of Afghans and save public life from economic collapse.
The world community is concerned that instability in Afghanistan, combined with the current drought, could put people’s lives at greater risk and plunge the country into famine. The U.N. conference is a test for Western governments and other traditional U.N. donors who want to help Afghanistan.
The United Nations says recent developments in Afghanistan have increased the vulnerability of Afghans, who have suffered decades of deprivation and destruction from wars and violent conflict.
UNHCR Commissioner Filippo Grandi arrived in the Afghan capital, Kabul, shortly before the start of the U.N. donor conference for Afghanistan in Geneva. He was met at the airport by the Taliban’s acting Afghan refugee minister, Khalil Haqqani, according to a photo posted on Twitter Monday.
Grandi said, “More than 3.5 million Afghans are displaced in their own country, many because of the recent fighting.” These people were in particular need of urgent assistance, he said.
“More than half of the 38 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian assistance,” he added.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on Aug. 15, 2021, following the U.S. troop withdrawal and the flight of President Ghani. They initially promised to form an inclusive government and pardon dissidents, but many Afghans fear their new rulers.