Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has approved humanitarian aid worth 113 million euro to Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan this year.
Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, commented on the move at the Afghanistan Pledging Conference on Thursday, pointing out that one of the worst humanitarian crises persists in Afghanistan.
“Following the cold winter season, millions of women, men and children are struggling in the face of acute hunger,” he warned and added “I wish to thank the governments of Germany, Qatar, the UK as well as the UN for joining forces to organise this timely conference.”
Lenarčič stressed that the EU will continue to support Afghan refugees and their hosts in Iran and Pakistan, concluding that the “EU stands in full solidarity.”
The EC pointed out in a statement that “EU humanitarian support focuses on specialised medical care, supply of food and nutrition, shelter, as well as the protection of civilians and education projects for the Afghan people and Afghans displaced to neighbouring countries.”
The body noted that some 2 million euro will go towards EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights, which are to provide 490 tonnes of medical supplies and food to Afghanistan by June this year.
The EU will provide roughly 11 million euro for humanitarian aid projects in Iran and 7 million for projects in Pakistan, with the EC stressing that assistance “is always channelled through international aid organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and UN agencies.”
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan raised concerns about the possibility of starvation in parts of the country, with more than 24 million people in need of humanitarian aid.
“Afghanistan is considered as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, characterised by political insecurity, severe medical and food shortages, displacement, restricted access to education for girls and women and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic,” the EC noted in the statement.
It added that Iran and Pakistan have taken in large number of Afghan refugees and pointed out that the EU provides aid to displaced people as well as “the most vulnerable people among the local population in these countries.”