Afghanistan families resorting to desperate measures, charities tell Liz Truss

An open letter has been sent to the Foreign Secretary, telling her that ‘there isn’t a moment to lose’.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Charities are urging the UK Government to provide more money for Afghanistan warning the humanitarian emergency is so bad that families are selling their children.

Organisations including Save the Children UK, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Concern Worldwide have written an open letter to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss telling her that the window to save lives is “closing fast”.

Charity leaders said that the £286 million of UK aid announced so far is not enough because it amounts to just £7.15 for each of the 40 million people at risk in Afghanistan.

The Government must urgently provide additional humanitarian funding that reflects this level of desperate need

Open letter to Liz Truss

The signatories of the letter have warned Ms Truss that “there isn’t a moment to lose”.

They wrote: “Five million Afghan children are on the brink of famine. Every day, more people are succumbing to illness and starvation.

“With 98% of families not having enough to eat, some are resorting to desperate coping strategies – even selling their children.

“Our staff and partners on the ground report suffering on a scale that most of us cannot comprehend.

“The window to save millions of lives is closing fast. The UN has launched its largest ever single country appeal – 4.4 billion dollars – and needs wealthy countries like the UK to step up now.”

The charities said they welcome the release of the rest of the £286 million in UK aid announced six months ago, but added: “However, this sum amounts to just £7.15 for each of the 40 million people now at risk in Afghanistan.

“The Government must urgently provide additional humanitarian funding that reflects this level of desperate need.

“It should also use its diplomatic influence to bring other donor countries around the table to meet the UN’s call for life-saving funds.

“As well as supporting the emergency response, FCDO must also prioritise international efforts to ensure essential public services are restored and to keep the Afghan state and economy from collapsing.”

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