United Nations, United States:
The United Nations hopes to deliver aid to Afghanistan by land soon, a senior UN official said Tuesday, adding that a new representative of the global body was en route to the country.
“We would like to see the beginning of road travel in from other countries for supplies,” said Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.
Griffiths, speaking via videoconference, met the war-wary nation’s new Taliban leadership in Kabul on Sunday and Monday.
For aid to flow however the new Afghan government must provide security.
“We need to see security to allow humanitarian delivery,” Griffiths said.
He added that UN officials were seeking to confirm in writing oral promises of security from the Taliban, who took over Afghanistan late last month after a lightning offensive as US troops withdrew.
“Humanitarian agencies around the world in every country need independence of assessment, delivery and monitoring of assistance, security and safety of national and international humanitarian workers … and of their families,” he said.
Griffiths also confirmed that the head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, was on his way to Afghanistan and hopes to be able to travel from Kabul to the southern city of Kandahar.
Last week the United Nations announced that humanitarian flights, including from Pakistan, had resumed to northern and southern Afghanistan.
Some 600,000 Afghans have been displaced this year due to the unrest, Griffiths said.
According to UN officials about half the country’s population, or 18 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called an international ministerial meeting in Geneva for Monday to increase humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
UN officials are seeking $606 million to help the country through the end of the year.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)