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World leaders must commit to averting humanitarian crisis

World leaders must commit to averting humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

Decisions made by world leaders in Geneva overnight tonight will impact the future for Afghan children forever, that is according to international aid agency World Vision, as governments meet in the early hours of tomorrow morning (NZT) discuss the crisis in Afghanistan.

With 2.7 million people on the brink of famine the aid agency says this is the time for action not words. It is essential that funding is significantly increased, realistic plans for ensuring humanitarian access are put in place, and the safety of female humanitarian workers and beneficiaries is prioritised.

Andrew Morley, World Vision International President and CEO says aid agencies are together deeply concerned about the unfolding crisis and is calling for more to be done.

“We urge leaders everywhere to stand alongside the children of Afghanistan in their hour of need. A hunger crisis threatens countless children’s futures. The scenes are heart-breaking – and we must act together to provide the resources on the ground, immediately. Children can only begin to achieve their dreams, to live life in all its fullness, with peace and stability in their country.”

World Vision Afghanistan National Director Asuntha Charles will be attending the UN-led high-level Ministerial Meeting remotely from Kabul, where she leads the NGOs response. Charles will join other aid agencies in pressing government ministerial representatives to commit to doing much more for Afghanistan.

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“The UN’s Humanitarian Response Plan is only 39% funded, meaning US$786 million is still desperately needed to support over 18 million Afghans. That funding must be sustained and flexible, allowing aid agencies freedom to spend in ways that meet the highly fluid context,” she says.

As the current situation for many female workers remains unclear, World Vision will also call on world leaders to urge the Taliban to protect the rights of women; including their right to work, to be humanitarian aid workers and to be able to safely receive aid assistance.

World Vision New Zealand, which has worked in Afghanistan for more than 20 years, restarted its life-saving programmes in Afghanistan last week, in support of the World Food Programme, to help get food aid to children and families in need right now.

World Vision New Zealand National Director Grant Bayldon is calling on the New Zealand Government to do more to support those at risk in Afghanistan. He says urgent action is needed to both avert a humanitarian disaster, and to help at-risk Afghans access safety.

World Vision is asking the Government to provide more humanitarian aid via aid agencies who are working on the ground, and to assist those in need of resettlement by implementing an emergency increase to its existing refugee quota – to relocate and resettle at least 1000 - 1500 Afghan refugees.

“We call on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to urgently step up the Government’s response to the crisis in Afghanistan. Humanitarian needs are growing the by hour, with millions facing starvation in the coming weeks. At the same time, there are still people at risk who need to get to safety in countries like New Zealand,” Bayldon says.

You can help children in the world’s most dangerous places to survive, recover and build a future by going to or calling 0800-800-776.

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