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International Development Chair welcomes UK cash for Afghanistan, presses urgency

30 March 2022

The Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP, has welcomed the UK Government’s pledge of an additional £286m. of emergency aid for Afghanistan but also urged further measures.

The Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP said:

“We welcome this additional money. However, we remind the government that this support can only make a difference if it is swiftly disbursed to the Afghan people who so desperately need it. We hope that the international pledging conference taking place on 31 March secures scaled-up resources to address today’s unprecedented humanitarian needs – and fast.

“As my Committee said in its recent report, the UK Government and its international allies should be taking urgent steps to rapidly address the banking crisis in Afghanistan to ease humanitarian suffering.

“We deplore the recent Taliban reversal of its decision to allow girls to return to secondary schools. However, we are concerned at the response by the World Bank – which was to withhold the disbursal of funds from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund. This move could more severely punish the Afghan people, including women and girls, than it punishes the Taliban.

“We strongly urge the UK Government and its international partners to encourage the World Bank to swiftly release funds from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund so that aid organisations can use that money to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

“They need help desperately. There is no time to waste”.

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