Afghanistan: one year since the Taliban takeover – Press Conference (15 August 2022)

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “Afghanistan: one year since the Taliban takeover – Press Conference (15 August 2022)” – below is their description.

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Ramiz Alakbarov, today (15 Aug) said that one year after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, “the worst-case scenario was averted.”

Briefing remotely from Afghanistan, Alakbarov, who is also the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, said, “throughout this year, the humanitarian actors, the UN agencies, humanitarian agencies, all partners who decided to stay and deliver in Afghanistan, over the period of time, have maintained probably the largest and the most unprecedented humanitarian lifeline delivery operation for the people of Afghanistan.”

He said, “throughout these interventions the lives of millions of people of Afghans were saved, community education programs supported, health outreach was sustained, and the worst-case scenario was averted.”

The UNAMA official stressed that humanitarian conditions remain dire. He said, “it’s a heart-breaking scene, you have children malnourished, in (inaudible) condition. The outcomes for them are going to be very negative. They will not survive this winter. Large groups of population in remote areas where the winter is harsh. Afghanistan has very harsh winters and temperatures are very cold. And indeed, it can lead only to very negative consequences.”

Alakbarov said, “the people of Afghanistan are known for their resilience and their ability to survive. Unfortunately, negative coping strategy for Afghanistan were already quite (inaudible). You’ve seen people selling organs, you’ve seen people selling children – this has been widely covered in the media. So, this is what we will be seeing again, if support is not provided.”

Soaring food and fuel prices – worsened by a drought and the war in Ukraine – mean that roughly 95 per cent of the population, and nearly all female-headed households, do not get enough to eat.

Afghanistan was already struggling with education even before the Taliban takeover last August, as more than four million children were already out of school, 60 percent of them girls.

Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are banned from going to high school and effectively barred from political participation, as the Taliban has an all-male cabinet and there is no Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

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