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UN assures to provide aid after meeting with Taliban leaders in Kabul

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban's political office meet Martin Griffiths. Source: Twitter.

KABUL: Senior Taliban officials met in Kabul on Sunday with the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, who promised to maintain assistance for the Afghan people, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban’s political office and other officials met Martin Griffiths as Afghanistan faces a potentially catastrophic humanitarian crisis caused by severe drought and a collapsing economy.

“The UN delegation promised continuation of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, saying he would call for further assistance to Afghanistan during the coming meeting of donor countries,” Shaheen said on Twitter.

“I met with the leadership of the Taliban to reaffirm UN’s commitment to deliver impartial humanitarian assistance & protection to millions in need in Afghanistan,” sais Griffiths after the meeting.

Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been plunged into crisis by the abrupt end of billions of dollars in foreign aid following the collapse of the Western-backed government and the victory of the Taliban last month. Shaheen said the Taliban assured the UN delegation of “cooperation and provision of needed facilities.”

The United Nations is expected to convene an international aid conference in Geneva on Sept. 13 to help avert what U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called a “looming humanitarian catastrophe”.

“We need the international community to stand together and support the Afghan people,” Guterres said earlier in a post on Twitter announcing the conference that he said would seek a swift scale-up in funding for humanitarian relief. “We also appeal for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need,” he said.

Many Afghans were struggling to feed their families amid severe drought well before Taliban militants seized power last month and millions may now face starvation with the country isolated and the economy unravelling, aid agencies say. read more

“The United Nations stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and is committed to staying and delivering for them,” Guterres said.