Taliban pledge safety to protect humanitarian workers : UN official

The Taliban have pledged the safety and security of social workers and reassured the UN to work together to ensure that aid was extended to the people of Afghanistan, a UN official said.

Martin Griffiths, head of the United Nations, met with Taliban founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the head of the political office and other clothing leaders in Kabul on Sunday, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“At the request of the Secretary-General, Martin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General of Labor and the United Nations Emergency Response Coordinator, met with Mullah Baradar and the Taliban leadership in Kabul to consult with the authorities on aid,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

At the meeting, Griffiths reiterated the community’s commitment to helping people to provide “neutral and independent assistance and protection to millions of people in need.”

She emphasized the important role of women in service delivery and called on all parties to ensure their rights, safety and well-being and called on all citizens – especially women and girls and children – to be protected at all times and to express their solidarity with the Afghan people.

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“Authorities have promised that the safety and security of social workers, as well as access to services for the needy, will ensure that social workers – both men and women – will be guaranteed freedom of movement. “The authorities are committed to working with the humanitarian community to ensure that services are delivered to the people of Afghanistan,” the statement said.

Noting that more meetings are expected in the coming days, Dujarric said Griffiths would meet again – and express his gratitude on behalf of the UN – to aid organizations, both UN and NGOs, who continue to work in the country and have helped eight million people this year.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen wrote on Twitter that Baradar and his team met with Griffiths at the Kabul foreign ministry.

A UN official promised more aid to the people of Afghanistan, saying he would ask for more help in Afghanistan at the next donor meeting.

The team thanked the UN team, who assured them of cooperation and the provision of the necessary facilities.

A UN statement said as Afghanistan faces an impending humanitarian crisis, the Secretary-General has convened a high-level meeting of officials to address the growing humanitarian needs in the country.
“Emergency fundraising is needed for the rescue operation to continue. “The United Nations continues to stand by the people of Afghanistan,” it said.

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With half of Afghan people – 18 million people – in need of help to survive, one third of them do not know where their next food comes from, more than half of all children under the age of five at risk of malnutrition, severe drought, second to four years, will continue to help famine in the coming months, the UN said.

“Now more than ever, the people of Afghanistan need the support and solidarity of the international community,” the statement said.

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