September 13, 2021| Press Releases|
Secretary General Guterres,
High Commissioner Grandi,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Pakistan welcomes and appreciates the efforts of the United Nations to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Today’s Afghanistan represents an important opportunity as it begins its journey towards sustainable peace and development. The recurring cycles of conflict and instability during the last 4 decades can finally be stopped.
The challenges are daunting. The situation is becoming dire for around 18 million people of Afghanistan – directly in need of humanitarian assistance. A sluggish response from the international community can cause grave humanitarian consequences.
Solidarity must be shown with the Afghan people at this pivotal juncture, both in terms of financial and political support. It is time to renew developmental partnerships, support nation-building, and meet the humanitarian needs of the Afghan population.
Durable solutions require scaling up of developmental interventions, provision of livelihood opportunities, and ensuring of access to basic necessities such as food, health and education for the Afghan people.
Whilst we focus on the humanitarian situation inside Afghanistan, we must not forget millions of Afghans in large refugee-hosting countries, for whom the international support has dwindled over the years. In line with the principle of international responsibility and burden sharing, host communities must be supported especially during these challenging times of COVID-19.
On its part, Pakistan has been supporting the humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan in several ways, including by facilitating the evacuation and relocation of international staff, and establishment of a humanitarian corridor for the delivery of relief goods through air and land routes.
We are already airlifting humanitarian assistance comprising food and medicines to Afghanistan, which will be followed by supplies through land routes as well.
Pakistan continues to host more than 3 million Afghans refugees, for over 4 decades. Over the years, we have also earmarked over one billion U.S. dollars for a range of development projects in Afghanistan.
We reaffirm our commitment today to support the provision of humanitarian relief to the Afghan people under UN umbrella, as well as the continuity of our in-kind assistance to Afghanistan. We will also continue to facilitate the UN in its humanitarian relief efforts by providing logistical and other support through Pakistan.
Ensuring sustainable development and promoting respect for human rights require political stability and peace in Afghanistan. And peace cannot consolidate unless Afghanistan is provided the necessary economic and fiscal space.
Past mistakes must not be repeated. The Afghan people must not be abandoned. It is essential to take a long-term view and adopt a pragmatic approach. Sustained engagement with Afghanistan, especially for meeting its humanitarian needs, is indispensible. Pakistan appreciates the leadership shown by the UN Secretary-General on this account, and the UN agencies playing a leading role in ensuring humanitarian supplies.
I thank you.
Last modified: September 13, 2021
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