Following a devastating earthquake, the Austrian government is supporting aid organisations on the ground with payments from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad (AKF).
In order to relieve the acute humanitarian suffering of the Afghan civilian population, the Austrian government is providing seven million euros from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad (AKF) for aid organisations in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. This will ensure effective aid for internally displaced persons and Afghan refugees near their homeland, and will help prevent trans-regional migration movements to Europe.
The funds will be sent directly to aid organisations in order to prevent their misuse by the Taliban regime. Four million euros will go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), one million euros to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and two million euros to Austrian aid organisations in Afghanistan.
We are working with internationally recognised partners and multiple Austrian aid organisations to provide effective aid on the ground. Through their efforts and expertise, we are able to give support where it is most urgently needed. At the same time, we can help to deter people from undertaking the dangerous journey towards Europe so that smugglers cannot profit from their suffering,
said Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
The decades-long armed conflict; the effects of COVID-19, which brought the country to an economic standstill; and the global food crisis caused by the Russian war of aggression have severely impacted the civilian population in Afghanistan. The devastating earthquake on 22nd June 2022 further deepened the country’s humanitarian crisis. According to initial reports, the quake resulted in more than 1,000 fatalities. It is feared that this number will continue to rise.
The situation in Afghanistan is disastrous. Multiple crises are exponentially increasing the suffering. In addition to war, pandemic, hunger, and flight from a dictatorial regime, now an earthquake has caused numerous fatalities and robbed many people of their homes.
Our duty is crystal clear: We must not forget the people of Afghanistan. We must help provide the all-too-necessary humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. This disbursement from the replenished Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad makes it possible to support experienced international organisations and Austrian NGOs with their vital work in Afghanistan,
said Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler.
24.5 million people in Afghanistan currently rely on humanitarian aid, including nearly 13 million children. In addition, 19 million Afghans are experiencing an acute food crisis. The recent events are worsening the situation particularly for women and girls, who suffer from inadequate access to essential life-saving measures and have insufficient protection from violence.
Those who help quickly help twice as much. That is exactly what Austria is doing, and we will not abandon Afghanistan after the earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people. Now more than ever, the people of Afghanistan need our help. We must prevent a humanitarian collapse in order to keep the emergency from spreading throughout the region. Otherwise, there is a risk of even more illegal migration towards the European borders,
said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
The UNHCR is on the ground in Afghanistan, providing life-saving emergency aid to internally displaced persons and refugees in the neighbouring region, as well as support for fighting sexual violence. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has been active in Afghanistan for more than 30 years, and it has many years of experience providing life-saving emergency aid to the population when there are natural disasters like earthquakes. In keeping with its humanitarian tradition and due to the dramatic situation in Afghanistan, Austria is supporting the humanitarian efforts of the international community.
Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
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