The UN spokesman said on Tuesday Afghanistan will receive $5 billion from the region’s neighbors, which it said was the biggest sum in history for the group.
The appeal came from the U.N. Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), along with refugee agency UNCHR. They are hoping to donate $5 billion due to the acute hunger that half of the country, including up to a million children facing malnutrition, is experiencing. OCHA warned that the situation could worsen if aid is not delivered to them immediately.
“We need to get food to the families where they live. We need to get seeds to the farmers where they plow,” OCHA head Martin Griffiths said. “We need to get health services to the clinics in locations throughout the country, and we need protection services for all those people who want to return home.”
The appeal is seeking $4.4 billion delivered to OCHA and its partners. Another $623 million is being proposed to be delivered to UNCHR for the more than 6 million Afghan refugees around the world. More than 175,000 refugees have already returned to Afghanistan despite worsening conditions.
The U.N. has repeatedly said that Afghans face one of the world’s fastest-growing humanitarian crises, with the economy in “free fall” and rights of women and girls “under attack.” The funding, if achieved, would amount to the equivalent of about one-fourth of the country’s total economic output in 2020, of more than $20 billion, according to the World Bank.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.