UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene in Geneva a high-level ministerial conference on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan on Sept. 13, his spokesman said on Friday.
The conference will seek a swift scale-up in funding so that the life-saving humanitarian operation can continue, and appeal for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement.
Afghanistan faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe. Nearly half of Afghanistan's 38-million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. One in three Afghans does not know where the next meal will come from. Nearly half of all children aged under five are predicted to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months, said the statement.
The United Nations remains committed to delivering humanitarian assistance to millions of people in need. Development gains must also be protected to link the humanitarian response with the medium- and long-term stability of Afghanistan. The rights, safety and well-being of women and girls are an essential part of this link, the statement added.
It is crucial for the international community to take swift action to ensure that humanitarian funding for the people of Afghanistan is scaled up, while remaining flexible and responsive to escalating needs, said the concept note of the high-level event.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will release on Tuesday a flash appeal covering the most pressing humanitarian needs and funding requirements for the next four months, it said.
Meanwhile, the UN 2021 humanitarian response plan for Afghanistan is only 40 percent funded, leaving a deficit of 766 million U.S. dollars, said OCHA earlier Friday.