China's permanent representative to the United Nations on Wednesday calls for more humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan.
"China calls for a stronger sense of urgency from the international community and more humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan, so as to bring warmth and hope to the Afghan people," Zhang Jun told a Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan.
"After the hasty withdrawal of foreign troops last August, the Afghan economy has been in free fall and the Afghan population is experiencing a humanitarian crisis of the worst kind," said the ambassador.
Noting 95 percent of the Afghan families are without enough food, more than 1 million children are suffering from acute malnutrition, and 23 million people are suffering from a severe famine, Zhang said: "At this rate, by the middle of the year, 97 percent of the Afghan population will be impoverished and will not be able to afford to live on 2 U.S. dollars a day."
The council adopted Resolution 2615 last month, which affirmed that humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan does not violate the council's sanction measures, and cleared any legal obstacles that may exist, he said, adding, "Unfortunately, there has been no fundamental change in the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan."
"Clearly, the key issue is not a legal obstacle, but a political one. It's the politicization of the humanitarian issue," he pointed out. "This is playing games with the lives and well-being of 38 million Afghans, who are in dire need of relief."
China welcomes the efforts of the World Bank and other international institutions to explore financing support for Afghanistan, according to Zhang. "But without a full injection of liquidity, the restoration and development of the domestic market and foreign trade, the efforts of international institutions will only be a drop in the bucket in the current situation."
"Unilateral sanctions are no less lethal than military intervention," he said, urging "the immediate lifting of the asset freeze and unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan."
"Adhering to the principle of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned certainly means respecting Afghan ownership and leadership of economic resources," he added.