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Wednesday August 10, 2022

Pakistan renews resolve to 'not abandon Afghans in their time of need'

PM chairs third meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan, welcomes the United Nation’s appeal for $5 billion in aid

By Web Desk
January 14, 2022
Prime Minister Imran Khan chairing the third meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan, on January 14, 2022. — Screengrab from video courtesy Twitter/@PakPMO
Prime Minister Imran Khan chairing the third meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan, on January 14, 2022. — Screengrab from video courtesy Twitter/@PakPMO

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday chaired the third meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan during which a renewed resolve was expressed to "not abandon Afghans in their time of need".

While chairing the meeting, the prime minister said that Pakistan is "committed to provide all out support to Afghan people to avert a humanitarian crisis” in the country, a statement by the Prime Minister's Office said.

According to the statement, the premier also welcomed the United Nation’s  appeal for aid to Afghanistan.

The United Nations on Tuesday said it needed $5 billion in aid for Afghanistan in 2022 to avert a humanitarian catastrophe and offer the ravaged country a future after 40 years of suffering.

In its biggest-ever single-country appeal, the UN said $4.4 billion (3.9 billion euros) was needed within Afghanistan, while a further $623 million was required to support the millions of Afghans sheltering beyond its borders.

The UN said 22 million people inside Afghanistan and a further 5.7 million displaced Afghans in five neighbouring countries needed vital relief this year. "A full-blown humanitarian catastrophe looms. My message is urgent: don't shut the door on the people of Afghanistan," said UN aid chief Martin Griffiths. "Help us scale up and stave off wide-spread hunger, disease, malnutrition and ultimately death."

In today's meeting, the apex committee expressed concerns over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

It renewed its appeal to the international community and relief agencies to provide aid at this critical juncture to avert economic collapse and to save precious lives in Afghanistan, the PM's Office said.

"The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to explore bilateral cooperation with friendly countries as well to stave off humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan by exporting qualified and trained manpower especially [in the fields of] medicine, IT, finance and accounting," read the statement.

The statement also said the premier directed  cooperation in the fields of railways, minerals, pharmaceuticals and media to help in Afghanistan’s rehabilitation and development.

During the session, the committee was updated on the progress made on relief of in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs5 billion which comprises food commodities, including 50,000 metric tons of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters and other supplies.

It was informed that Afghanistan is "at the verge of hunger and crisis situation during this harsh winter" and that the crisis "makes it difficult for the people to get enough food and shelter".

"The committee resolved to stand together with Afghan people and urged relief agencies to take immediate action," the PM's Office said.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Advisor to the PM on Commerce Razak Dawood, National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior civil and military officials.