Photo: UNAMA / Fardin Waezi.

UN Deputy Chief Envoy: This is not the time to turn our backs on the people of Afghanistan

UN Secretary General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, said on Wednesday that although the Taliban’s decisions have negatively impacted the ability of humanitarian actors, this is not the time to turn our backs on the people of Afghanistan.

“While the Taliban de-facto authorities have taken a series of decisions that have negatively impacted the ability of humanitarian actors to mount a full-scale response, this is not the time to turn our backs on the people of Afghanistan. They need everyone’s solidarity.” Ramiz Alakbarov tweeted.

He added that Afghanistan is at a “tipping point” and the urgent priority right now is to maintain the humanitarian response in the current operating environment to the best extent possible, avert famine and prevent disease outbreaks.

“Needs in Afghanistan will deteriorate further unless humanitarian space improves and donors urgently step up to enable aid agencies to maintain the world’s largest response.’ He said. “The humanitarian and entire international community must do whatever they can to stay the course, including by releasing funding already allocated for Afghanistan and not withholding future funding,” he added.

This comes as the head of the UN Development Program (UNDP), Achim Steiner, recently warned of pulling out of Afghanistan in May if the Taliban does not reverse its ban on women working for the UN office.

The head of UNDP added that a withdrawal would be “heartbreaking” but that it was necessary to protect the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Moreover, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed said on Monday that the Organization plans to hold a meeting to discuss the possibility of granting recognition to the Taliban. She called the Taliban’s desire for recognition an opportunity for leverage that the International community has.