United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the Security Council meeting on Afghanistan at the UN headquarters in New York, Jan. 26, 2022. Guterres on Wednesday urged the international community to scale up humanitarian operations to save lives in Afghanistan. (Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The UN team in Afghanistan on Wednesday launched a 3.6 billion U.S. dollar plan to help reduce new-found suffering and save lives, a UN spokesman said.
The overarching One-UN Transitional Engagement Framework aims to help the Afghan people meet their basic human needs, said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The funding is in addition to the 4.4 billion U.S. dollar Humanitarian Response Plan the United Nations announced on Jan. 11, saying it needed to aid 22.1 million afghans this year, Dujarric said. "It just shows ... the increased needs that we see in Afghanistan as we gain access to more regions."
The UN team is working to reduce the suffering of the Afghan people by saving lives, sustaining essential services and preserving basic community systems, he said. "The framework is a way of better managing the resources that we will get and better managing the implementation."
The framework calls for additional funding "to sustain essential social services such as health and education; support community systems through maintenance of basic infrastructure ... and promotion of livelihoods and social cohesion, with specific emphasis on socio-economic needs of women and girls."
Afghans suffer from a hobbled agricultural economy, sanctions throttling financial liquidity and now severe winter weather following the Aug. 15, 2021, Taliban takeover of the war-torn country.
Last month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a humanitarian exemption to a 1988 sanctions regime. It said humanitarian assistance for basic human needs in Afghanistan is not a violation of the sanctions. ■