World has failed to meet Afghanistan’s needs: UN

July 10th, 2008 - 7:04 am ICT by IANS  

New York, July 10 (DPA) The appeal for $404 million launched Wednesday by the Kabul government and the UN shows that the world has not done enough to meet Afghanistan’s humanitarian needs, the UN special envoy to the country said. The appeal was launched in Kabul, just six months after the UN asked for hundreds of millions of dollars to help the country’s most desperate people. The $404 million being sought would go to feed 4.5 million Afghans facing by high food prices, drought and poor harvests.

Kai Eide, UN special envoy for Afghanistan, told the UN Security Council in New York that 80 percent of Afghans still depend directly on agricultural products for their livelihood. But the world community has provided only a “very modest” contribution.

“These constant humanitarian challenges have revealed a clear lack of capacity to address the needs of the most vulnerable people,” Eide said. “We must urgently strengthen our capacity to forecast, assess, coordinate and respond to humanitarian crisis. We should be imaginative in order to mobilize such resources quickly.”

An international conference last month in Paris resulted in donors pledging $20 billion to help UN efforts to rebuild Afghanistan in the next five years. The UN has been urging those donors to implement their pledges.

Eide said that the world must live up to its commitment in Afghanistan so the Kabul government can rebuild the country’s economy and fight corruption and mismanagement while international security forces led by NATO are trying to maintain security.

Eide reported an “unprecedented” level of insurgency and terrorist activities in recent months, particularly in volatile provinces in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

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