The United Nations’ humanitarian aid appeal for Afghanistan is pegged at USD678 million for 2011.
About a quarter of the Islamic nation’s population, or some 7.4 million Afghans, are reeling from hunger despite donors pouring aid into Afghanistan, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg said.
“The civilian population, particularly in southern Afghanistan, is trapped in the middle and suffer disproportionately,” Bragg said before the launch of the 2011 appeal for Afghanistan on Dec. 4.
The U.N.’s 2010 appeal for Afghanistan worth USD775 million has been two-thirds financed and is the fourth most funded appeal of the global agency in 2010 after Haiti, Pakistan and Sudan, Reuters reports.
Bragg said emphasis on politics and the planned withdrawal of foreign troops have overtaken the humanitarian needs in the Islamic nation.
“I feel recently the emphasis seems to be on the political process, the drawdown of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) countries. The humanitarian situation seems to be a second thought,” Bragg told Reuters in an interview.
The International Committee of the Red Cross last week also sought a humanitarian aid appeal of USD89 million for Afghanistan.