‘We’re in a Race against Time’ to Help Afghans

The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday (12/10) called for humanitarian aid to be immediately sent to Afghanistan because winter will soon arrive in the country ravaged by prolonged war.

The spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Babar Baloch warned that “we are racing against time” as the needs of Afghans are increasing day by day.

By teleconference from Kabul, Baloch said that if aid cannot reach those who need it in time, the consequences could be “terrible”.

“Winter in Afghanistan is harsh. Winter in Afghanistan can kill,” Baloch told reporters.

UNHCR has assisted around 40,000 refugees by distributing solar panels as well as warm clothes and blankets over the past week. The UN agency plans to reach 60,000 more people this week out of more than half a million displaced.

Before the Taliban returned to power in August, Afghanistan’s economy had only survived on foreign aid for the past 20 years. However, since the Taliban came to power, the country’s assets have been frozen and development aid temporarily suspended.

“Afghanistan needs a cash injection”, Baloch said. He warned that the country was “on the verge of collapse in terms of its public services and economy.” (ka/lt)

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