Red Cross welcomes UN Security Council’s resolution to ensure lifesaving aid reaches Afghanistan and calls for urgent adoption in Australia

23 December 2021

Last night's UNSC resolution will help ensure life saving aid gets to Afghanistan, but the Australian Government needs to act quickly.

Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian and economic crisis which has been exacerbated by the sanctions and practically frozen aid.

Last night, this was recognised by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as they unanimously adopted resolution 2615 (2021). This resolution will help save lives by ensuring that neutral and impartial humanitarian actors like Red Cross can provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

“There is a growing desperate need in Afghanistan as winter sets in. Millions of women, men, and children are facing tremendous hardship, with limited access to basic services and a healthcare system on the brink of collapse” said Adrian Prouse, Head of International Humanitarian Programs.

Some 23 million Afghans, more than half the population, face food insecurity and the cost of food and essentials has sharply increased, leaving people struggling to pay for basic staples.

“Economic sanctions have pushed the Afghanistan economy to the point of collapse. Sanctions on banking services have meant that teachers and health workers have not been paid for months. They have also led to significant delays and blockages in getting life-saving assistance to the people,” Mr Prouse said.

While the adoption of Res. 2615 is a positive step, for Australian aid to reach Afghanistan it is imperative the Australian Government acts quickly and adopts the resolution.

“We call on the Australian Government to take a swift and pragmatic approach to ensure life-saving aid reaches the people of Afghanistan as rapidly as possible,” said Mr Prouse.

Red Cross supports the UNSC’s calls for the international community to respect International Humanitarian Law, which protects people who are not part of the fight and their access to impartial humanitarian relief.

“We are urging the public not to forget the people of Afghanistan and help us continue to provide vital humanitarian aid,” Mr Prouse said.

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