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UN seeks stronger Afghanistan aid funding despite concerns on Taliban

Ahead of the drive, Britain pledged 286 million pounds ($374 million) for Afghanistan, where six out of every 10 Afghans need aid, much of it food, amid an economic crisis worsened by a financial aid cutoff following the Taliban takeover in August.

March 31, 2022 / 10:18 AM IST
Afghans waiting in front of a bank as they try to withdraw money in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 12, 2021. With Afghan assets frozen in the U.S. and the world reluctant to recognize the Taliban, the country's banking system has come to a halt. Unpaid salaries and a brewing humanitarian crisis also put more pressure on the new Taliban government, with no clear way out. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

Afghans waiting in front of a bank as they try to withdraw money in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 12, 2021. With Afghan assets frozen in the U.S. and the world reluctant to recognize the Taliban, the country's banking system has come to a halt. Unpaid salaries and a brewing humanitarian crisis also put more pressure on the new Taliban government, with no clear way out. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

The United Nations is seeking $4.4 billion for Afghanistan at an international virtual event on Thursday in the largest humanitarian appeal launched for a single country even as concerns mount over Taliban rule.

Ahead of the drive, Britain pledged 286 million pounds ($374 million) for Afghanistan, where six out of every 10 Afghans need aid, much of it food, amid an economic crisis worsened by a financial aid cutoff following the Taliban takeover in August.

"Afghans need our help in enabling their economy, sustaining their agriculture and enabling the basic functioning of social services," U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths told a news briefing ahead of the event co-hosted with Britain, Germany and Qatar.

The U.N. says funds under the appeal -- three times the amount requested in 2021 and only 13% funded so far -- go directly to aid agencies and none are channelled through the de facto authorities who swept to power as the last U.S. troops withdrew.