FM Qureshi urges int'l community to provide economic assistance to Afghanistan

There will be a huge outflow of Afghan refugees if the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates, says Qureshi


News Desk October 05, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. PHOTO: RP

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday urged the international community to take concrete steps for the provision of humanitarian and economic assistance to the Afghan people.

The foreign minister's resolve came during a telephonic conversation with Kenyan counterpart Raychelle Omamo where he said if the situation deteriorated further in Afghanistan, it would lead to a huge outflow of Afghan refugees besides other consequences.

"Pakistan gives special importance to its bilateral relations with Kenya. Engage Africa policy is amongst the priorities of our government," FM Qureshi said in regards to Pakistan's bilateral relations with Kenya.

He further expressed a strong desire to further strengthen relations with Kenya in the areas of economy, trade and defence.

On October 3, it was reported that Afghanistan is facing a breakdown of its economic and social systems that risks turning into a humanitarian catastrophe, the European Union's foreign policy chief said.

Avoiding the worst-case scenario would require the Taliban to comply with conditions that would enable more international assistance, Josep Borrell wrote in a blog post.

"Afghanistan is experiencing a serious humanitarian crisis and a socio-economic collapse is looming, which would be dangerous for Afghans, the region and international security," Borrell wrote.

Read more: Blast kills several civilians near Kabul mosque

Food prices in the country have jumped more than 50% since the Taliban took power in August as the freezing of $9 billion of Afghanistan's assets held in foreign central bank reserves and the withdrawal of foreign income stokes inflation.

The Afghan banking system is largely paralysed, with people unable to withdraw money, while the country's health system - which was heavily dependent on foreign aid - is close to collapse, according to Borrell.

The 27-country EU has increased its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan since the Taliban took power, but halted its development assistance - a move also taken by other countries and the World Bank.

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