G-20 Leaders to Discuss Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan

12 Oct

G-20 Leaders to Discuss Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan

With Afghanistan facing humanitarian and economic crises, G-20 leaders are set to meet virtually Tuesday to discuss ways to meet aid needs and address security concerns following the Taliban’s August takeover. 

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is hosting the summit, with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, U.S. President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders from European G-20 nations among those expected to participate. 

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell pledged help Monday, saying at an EU ministerial meeting that the “humanitarian and socioeconomic situation in Afghanistan is on the verge of collapse.” 

“Today we agreed on having a calibrated approach to give direct support to the Afghan population in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, while certainly not recognizing the Taliban,” Borrell said. “We will deliver the aid through our multilateral partners while respecting our agreed principles of engagement.” 

Guterres said Monday that Afghanistan is facing “a make-or-break moment” as he called on the world to act. 

Before the Taliban takeover, international aid accounted for 75% of Afghanistan’s state spending, but governments and international organizations have cut off such funding and frozen Afghanistan’s assets. 

Guterres said Monday that banks in Afghanistan are closing and that health care and other essential services have been suspended in many places. He warned the humanitarian crisis, which is affecting half the country’s population, is growing. 

“The Afghan people cannot suffer a collective punishment because the Taliban misbehave,” Guterres said. 

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.

SJ

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