International News

Afghanistan Receives Humanitarian Aid from Austria –

The Afghan people are suffering. There is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. To alleviate the current state of emergency, the federal government is assisting aid agencies by providing funding from foreign disaster funds.

To this end, the federal government is providing seven million euros from the Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF) for aid agencies in Afghanistan and surrounding areas.

It ensures effective assistance for internally displaced persons and Afghan refugees near home and contributes to the prevention of inter-regional migration movements in Europe. The aid money is transferred directly to the aid agencies.

This measure is necessary to prevent the abuse of the Taliban regime and thus not indirectly support the reign of terrorism. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will receive four million euros, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) one million euros and the Austrian aid agency in Afghanistan two million euros.

“We are working with internationally renowned partners and a number of Austrian aid agencies to provide effective assistance on the ground. Through their deployment and expertise, we provide assistance where it is most urgently needed. Travel to Europe and traffickers can benefit from their suffering.” Federal Chancellor Carl Nehamar.

Decades of armed conflict, the effects of COVID-19, which has led the country to economic stagnation, as well as the global food crisis caused by Russia’s aggression, have severely affected Afghanistan’s civilian population.

The devastating earthquake of 22 June 2022 has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the country. According to initial reports, the quake killed more than 1,000 people. It is feared that this number will increase further.

“The situation in Afghanistan is devastating. Several crises are multiplying the suffering. In addition to war, epidemics, hunger and dictatorships, an earthquake has now claimed countless lives and deprived many people of their homes. It is clear: we must forget the people of Afghanistan. No. We must contribute more than the necessary humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Through increased foreign disaster funding, it is possible to assist experienced international organizations and Austrian NGOs in their important work in Afghanistan, “said Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler.

In Afghanistan, 24.5 million people are currently dependent on humanitarian assistance, including about 13 million children. Also, 19 million Afghans face acute food crisis. Recent events are exacerbating the situation, especially for women and girls, who suffer from inadequate access to the necessary life-saving measures and lack of protection from violence.

“Those who help quickly help twice. Austria is doing just that, and is not leaving Afghanistan after the earthquake killed more than 1,000 people. More than ever, the people of Afghanistan need our help now. We must resist. “Otherwise, there is a greater threat of illegal immigration to the European border,” said Foreign Minister Alexander Schlenberg.

The UNHCR is on the ground in Afghanistan to provide life-saving emergency assistance to internally displaced persons and refugees in neighboring areas, as well as to assist in combating sexual violence.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has been active in Afghanistan for more than 30 years and has many years of experience in providing life-saving emergency assistance to people affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes.

While maintaining its humanitarian heritage and the dramatic situation in Afghanistan and the region, Austria supports the humanitarian efforts of the international community.

BMEIA Federal Ministry of European Integration and Foreign Affairs

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