• Monday, September 26, 2022

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UK will double humanitarian aid to Afghanistan this year

Dominic Raab has pledged to make the streets safer for women at night. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

By: Sattwik Biswal

THE United Kingdom will double its humanitarian and development aid to Afghanistan to £286 million ($393.34 million) this year, foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said.

“We call on others to follow our lead to ensure the most vulnerable Afghans receive the humanitarian assistance they need,” Raab said late on Wednesday (18).

A day earlier, Britain had announced plans to welcome up to 5,000 Afghans fleeing the Taliban during the first year of a new resettlement programme that will prioritise women, girls and religious and other minorities. The UK has also called on other nations to help take in Afghan refugees.

Raab held conversations on the situation in Afghanistan with his counterparts in the United States and India late on Wednesday (18) and added that he was working closely with US Aid Administrator Samantha Power on the humanitarian response to ensure that aid reached the concerned people.

Britain is working with the Taliban in Kabul on a “tactical, practical level” to evacuate citizens and eligible Afghans, Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan said on Wednesday (18), adding that the evacuation programme would last days, not weeks.

The US-backed Afghan government collapsed over the weekend in an upheaval that sent thousands of civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing for their safety. Many fear a return to the austere interpretation of Islamic law imposed during the previous Taliban rule that ended 20 years ago.

Third country hubs

Meanwhile, Britain has started to invest in hubs to process Afghans fleeing from the country after the Taliban’s lightening takeover, Ben Wallace said on Thursday (19).

“We are starting to invest in third country hubs already so we can process people, if they get out to other countries such as in the region,” Wallace said.

Wallace said a British presence would stay at Kabul airport as long as US forces continued to run the airport.

“We will stay as long as the United States forces are running that airport,” Wallace said. “The airport is now being run by the United States.”

(Reuters)

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