EU Parliament's Chair Of Afghan Affairs Calls For Urgent Humanitarian Action

BRUSSELS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th October, 2021) Afghanistan and its neighboring countries need urgent support to prevent a humanitarian crisis, the chairman of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Afghanistan, Petras Austrevicius, said on Friday.

"Support is needed to meet the basic needs of the people of Afghanistan, as well as neighboring Pakistan, Iran, and Tajikistan," the lawmaker said.

Afghanistan is on the verge of famine due to such factors as a lack of essential supplies and the nearing winter, he said, calling for the coordination of EU humanitarian assistance in sending the aid via organizations that have no links with the Taliban (a terrorist organization, banned in Russia), he added. Austrevicius cited the World Food Programme as estimating the humber of malnourished people at 14 million.

The official lauded the package of 1 billion Euros ($1.1 billion) in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and its neighbors, announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday at the G20 meeting, as extremely important in preventing further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

"Two million children are at risk of malnutrition, 60-80% of households report a significant decline in income, people are struggling to find a job even for one working day in many areas, food prices are rising rapidly wheat prices have increased by 45% year-on-year, vegetable oil by 300%," he said.

Last month, the EU set out five conditions for the recognition of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These include respect for human rights, particularly women's rights, the rule of law, and freedom of the media, the formation of an inclusive and representative transitional government, and prevention of the country turning into a hotspot for terrorists. In addition, the movement has to let all those willing to leave Afghanistan do so without obstacles.