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People gather outside Kabul airport in hopes of escaping Afghanistan People gather outside Kabul airport in hopes of escaping Afghanistan 

UN warns of Afghanistan ‘humanitarian crisis’

The United Nations has sent a stark message to world leaders, warning that Afghanistan is facing an “absolute catastrophe” including widespread hunger and financial collapse.

By Nathan Morley

The UN says the international community needs to agree on an urgent humanitarian effort in the wake of the US departure from Afghanistan.

UNHCR insist that, whilst the situation at Kabul airport is worrying, not all Afghans can leave the country.

The organistation points to the dangers of focusing on the small number that might get out while ignoring up to 20 million people elsewhere who are in desperate need.

As it stands, 3.5 million Afghans are displaced within the country’s borders. UNHCR say food, shelter, clean water and medical care is urgently needed.

Situation at Kabul airport

Separately, the Biden administration has ordered the use of commercial jetliners to move Afghan evacuees once they have flown out of Kabul.

On the ground at Kabul airport, seven people have died in a crush as people tried to enter the complex.

A statement from the British Ministry of Defence said conditions remained “extremely challenging”.

At the same time, the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has lambasted the US pullout from Afghanistan, saying the move put Afghans and the security of the West at risk.

On the same theme, President Bidens predecessor, Donald Trump, has criticized the evacuation effort during a rally in Alabama.

“Biden’s botched exit from Afghanistan is the most astonishing display of gross incompetence by a nation’s leader, perhaps at any time," Trump told supporters.

G7 talks

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will bring G7 leaders together for urgent talks on the situation in Afghanistan next week.

London holds the rotating presidency of the G7 - the other members of which are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

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22 August 2021, 16:36