The United Nations has called for the international community to stand together for Afghanistan as world leaders meet at a flash appeal on Monday 13 September. Charity groups, local communities and other organisations in Aotearoa have taken the opportunity to call upon the New Zealand government to commit to more humanitarian aid. Executive Director of Oxfam Aotearoa Rachael Le Mesurier says that New Zealand needs to do more to contribute as a global citizen:
“The need is severe. Forty years of war, natural disasters, and now Covid-19 have conspired to push Afghanistan to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. The $3 million of aid the government has recently provided pales in comparison to the hundreds of millions of dollars the New Zealand government spent on the military campaign in Afghanistan over the last two decades.
“We ask the government to commit to $10 million of new humanitarian aid to help people in Afghanistan. The global flash appeal for Afghanistan is asking for more than NZ$840 million to support around 11 million Afghanistan people in crisis, particularly women and girls. New Zealand can and must step-up.”
This week it was reported that even before the Taliban took over the country, the people of Afghanistan were already struggling to feed their families due to drought, loss of crops and soaring food prices. A combination of conflict, Covid-19 and drought could mean that soon millions of Afghans may experience starvation. Women are going hungry to feed their children, as 50 per cent of children under five are facing acute malnutrition and need life-saving treatment.
New Zealand was part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan for the past twenty years. Charity groups, local communities and other organisations say that New Zealand has an obligation to help the Afghan people who remain in their country even though we have left.
Along with Oxfam Aotearoa the following support this ask:
- Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington
- Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand
- Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
- Christian World Service
- ChildFund New Zealand
- Council for International Development
- Hazara Association of New Zealand
- Save The Children New Zealand
- Tearfund NZ
- United Afghan Association of Canterbury
- World Vision New Zealand