The international community has pledged to donate over one billion U.S. dollars to Afghanistan, as it faces a major humanitarian crisis, after the Taliban took over the country last month.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made the plea for global support at a conference held Monday in Geneva, to the various governments and aid organizations in attendance.
"I urge you to support our flash appeal for 606 million U.S. dollars to get urgent assistance to 11 million people in the next four months. Today, we are announcing a 20 million US dollars allocation from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to support the humanitarian operation in Afghanistan."
There are mounting concerns over worsening instability across the country, compounded by an ongoing drought, which could further put at risk the lives of Afghans and plunge the country toward famine.
The U.S. has vowed 64 million dollars in new humanitarian assistance, while Germany also said it will ramp up funding for the country.
The major beneficiary of the funds which the UN said could bring "vital relief" to millions of people, will be the UN's World Food Program.
The UN also expressed deep concern about Afghanistan's refugee issue, urging countries to embrace them going forward.
"Of course, should new flows unfortunately occur, I will appeal to all countries to generously to exercise generously generous hospitality for people seeking asylum. But irrespective of population flows of new flows, it is important to give help to existing refugees."
Meanwhile, the UN human rights chief warned of a "new and perilous phase" for Afghanistan, pointing out that there is a major disconnection between the Taliban's words and actions.
"Importantly, and in contradiction to assurances that the Taliban would uphold women's rights, over the past few weeks, women have instead been progressively excluded from the public sphere. In many areas, they are prohibited from appearing in public spaces without a male chaperon."
She also added that her office has collected information that shows that Taliban forces have been conducting house-to-house searches for specific officials who worked for the previous government and those who have cooperated with U.S. forces.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, while addressing the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, explaining that no one predicted the Afghan army would collapse completely at the hands of the militant group.
He also acknowledged that the new interim government formed by the Taliban has fallen short of international expectations, as it is far from underscoring inclusivity, which was demanded by the global community.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.