UN chief of humanitarian operations visits Afghanistan to meet with Taliban

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sent Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths to Kabul to meet with Taliban leaders, the door said on Sunday. – speech of M. Guterres.

“At the request of the Secretary-General, Martin Griffiths (…) is currently in Kabul. During his visit today (Sunday), Mr. Griffiths met with Mullah Baradar and the Taliban leadership in Kabul to discuss humanitarian issues with them, “spokesman St├ęphane Dujarric said in a statement.

During the meeting, Griffiths reaffirmed the humanitarian community’s determination to provide impartial and independent humanitarian protection and assistance to millions of people in need in Afghanistan, the statement said.

Mr. Griffiths stressed the essential role of women in delivering humanitarian aid and called on all parties concerned to ensure their rights, safety, and well-being. He called for all civilians, especially women, girls, and minorities, to be protected at all times, and expressed his solidarity with the Afghan people.

The authorities promised that the safety of humanitarian workers would be guaranteed and that all aid workers – men and women – would be able to move freely and access those in need. The authorities also pledged to cooperate with the humanitarian community to ensure that aid reaches the Afghan people, the statement said.

Other meetings are expected in the coming days, according to the same source.

In Afghanistan, half of the population – 18 million people – currently need humanitarian aid to survive. A third of Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from, and more than half of children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition. A severe drought – the second in four years – is likely to further exacerbate famine in the months to come. Today more than ever, the Afghan people need the support and solidarity of the international community, the statement said

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